US President Donald Trump says it “certainly looks” as though missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead.
Trump did not say on Thursday what he based his conclusion on. But he says the consequences for the Saudis “will have to be very severe” if they are found to have killed him.
Trump has previously warned that the kingdom will face “severe punishment” from the US if it is determined that Saudi Arabia was responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
Khashoggi hasn’t been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul more than two weeks ago.
Turkish authorities say he was killed and dismembered. The Saudis have denied involvement.
Both the Turkish and Saudi governments are conducting separate investigations into Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he told Saudi Arabia’s rulers that the US takes “very seriously” the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and will await the outcome of investigations by the kingdom and Turkey before deciding how the US will respond.