President Trump said Thursday it "certainly looks" like Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist who disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey, is dead.
"It certainly looks that way to me," Trump said. "It's very sad."
Khashoggi was last seen Oct. 2 walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish press reports have said he was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents inside the mission, but the Saudi government has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance, and briefed the president on his findings Thursday.
Both the Turkish and Saudi governments are conducting investigations into Khashoggi's disappearance. Trump said he believes the U.S. will “get to the bottom fairly soon.”
[Opinion: Mike Pompeo needs to tread carefully with Saudi Arabia and find out what happened to Jamal Khashoggi]
If the investigations reveal the Saudis are behind Khashoggi’s disappearance, Trump said consequences would have to be “very severe.”
“I mean it’s bad, bad stuff,” he said. “But we’ll see what happens.”
Pompeo told reporters after meeting with Trump that the president intends to wait before making a decision on a possible retaliatory response until after Saudi Arabia completes its probe.