The US President Donald Trump has vowed “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia was behind the disappearance of its dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi who is feared killed at the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey. Trump, however, opposed the idea of canceling the mega $ 110 billion arms deal with Riyadh, saying this will hurt American companies and jobs.
His remarks came amidst mounting pressure as reports coming out of Turkey suggest that Khashoggi was brutally killed by Saudi officials inside their consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi, 59, a Washington Post contributor, had gone there to collect some papers for his marriage.
“Well, there’s a lot at stake. And maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There’s something-- you’ll be surprised to hear me say that. There’s something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were the case. So we’re gonna have to see. We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment,” Trump told CBS News.
In a statement issued through the official Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia has said it would retaliate if there were any sanctions by the US.
“It will respond with greater action” if there was any action from the United states, it said.
“The Kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy and that the Kingdom’s economy is affected only by the impact of the global economy,” it said.
Trump resisted the move to take steps that would harm the United States itself.