Audio Tapes Reveal Details About Jamal Khashoggi Murder
President Donald Trump says the United States is asking Turkey for audio and video relating to missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "if it exists."
But Trump also denied on Wednesday he was trying to give cover to Saudi leaders over Khashoggi's disappearance, a day after he cautioned against assuming they were guilty in the case until proven innocent.
Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and his body removed.
Turkish sources have said authorities have an audio recording indicating Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.
The President called Saudi Arabia an important ally on Wednesday, noting it is a huge customer for U.S. military exports, telling reporters: "I just want to find out what's happening. I'm not giving cover at all."
In an interview with Fox Business Network on Tuesday, Trump had pushed back against some criticism from U.S. lawmakers who have called for strong action after Khashoggi went missing.
Trump said he was waiting for a full report on Khashoggi's disappearance from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he returns from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where Pompeo met with those countries' leaders.
Asked whether the US was seeking audio or video evidence, Trump said: "We have asked for it, if it exists ... I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does.
"I'll have a full report on that from Mike (Pompeo) when he comes back. ... That's going to be the first question I ask."
In his interview with FBN Trump said: "Hopefully, it's working out. We'll find out. We'll get down to the bottom of it.
"I hope that the king and crown prince (of Saudi Arabia) did not know about it. That's a big factor in my eyes."
But when asked if the U.S. would walk away from its Gulf ally, Trump added: "I do not want to do that."
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