WASHINGTON: The United States will give ally Saudi Arabia “a few more days” to probe its alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, again delaying a US response to the mounting scandal.
Pompeo, who reported earlier to President Donald Trump on his trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, told journalists at the White House that the Saudis assured him “they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation.”
“I told President Trump this morning we ought to give them a few more days to complete that, so that we too have a complete understanding of the facts,” Pompeo said.
Only then, Pompeo said, “we can make decisions how or if the United States should respond.”
Trump has come under fire from members of Congress for his repeated delays in forming a response, as evidence mounts that Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist, was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul more than two weeks ago.
A former regime insider, Khashoggi had become a critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the point man in ever-tightening military and commercial relations between the Muslim petro-state and the Trump administration.