"We're going to have some answers pretty quickly," Trump said Friday in Scottsdale, Arizona, noting that we might know "a lot by Monday." He said he would be making recommendations to the US Congress about an appropriate response, but that "I will very much listen to what Congress has to say. They feel very strongly about it also."
The question of the future of the Saudi-US alliance, which has lasted through thick and thin since 1945, hangs in the balance as Trump weighs the option of punishing the country, whose government is suspected of having killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. However, Trump indicated to the press that Saudi Arabia has been a great ally and that it would be hurtful to the US if it ceased trading with the country.
When a member of the press asked the US head of state about his praise at a rally Thursday evening for Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte, who assaulted a reporter for the UK Guardian in 2017, in light of the present situation. Trump responded "that was a different league and a different world." Trump further called Gianforte, whose assault of the reporter the night before his special congressional election Trump alleged had in fact won him the vote, "a great guy."
Khashoggi disappeared October 2 after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to receive necessary papers for his upcoming wedding. Turkish authorities have alleged they have audio proof that a 15-man team of Saudi assassins tortured and killed the journalist moments after he entered the compound, although that proof has not been viewed by other authorities, such as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Ankara on Wednesday to speak with senior government officials. Pompeo flew to the Turkish capital directly from Riyadh, where he met with the Saudi monarch and chief advisers to emphasize the need for a complete investigation. The Saudi government has staunchly denied all responsibility or knowledge of Khashoggi's fate.
Khashoggi had previously fled his home country to Turkey after a falling out with Saudi leadership and was critical of the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen.