President Trump said Wednesday that he is “demanding” answers from the Saudi Arabian government about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it a “bad situation.”
The president’s comments come after the fiancée of Khashoggi, who is a contributor to The Washington Post, personally urged Trump and first lady Melania Trump to “help shed light” on his disappearance.
Trump said he is demanding answers from the “highest levels” of the Saudi government, and he has spoken with the Saudis.
“Certainly concerned,” Trump said in the Oval Office Wednesday. "His wife wrote us a letter and addressed it to my wife and myself. [We] are in contact with her now, [and] want to bring her to the White House.”
Trump added: “We want to get to the bottom of it.”
Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul after he visited to obtain a document required to marry his Turkish fiancée. Saudia Arabia has denied the allegations and dismissed them as “baseless.”
Turkish media, though, have published images of an alleged 15-member Saudi “assassination squad” and video of suspicious movements at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after Khashoggi’s disappearance last week.
Trump said that Saudi King Salman is a “fine man,” with whom he shares a “good relationship,” but maintained that “nobody knows” what happened.
“It is a very serious situation,” Trump said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that White House National Security Adviser John Bolton and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Tuesday about Khoshaggi’s disappearance. Sanders said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a “follow up” call with Salman to “reiterate the United States request for information.”
“In both calls they asked for more details and for the Saudi government to be transparent in the investigation process,” Sanders said Wednesday. “We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available.”
Fox News’ Kristin Brown and Jennifer Bowman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.