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Trump says it ‘certainly looks’ like journalist Khashoggi is dead

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Thursday it “certainly looks” US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead.

“It certainly looks that way to me,” Trump told reporters at Andrews Air Force Base when asked if Khashoggi was dead. “It’s very sad.”

Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US will give Saudi Arabia “a few more days” to work on its probe into the suspected murder of journalist.

Pompeo told journalists the Saudis assured him “they will conduct a complete, thorough investigation of all the facts.”

Trump had put off a decision on what to do about the crisis in relations with its strategic Middle Eastern ally until Pompeo reported back his talks in Riyadh and Ankara.

“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 surrounding that, at which point we can make decisions how or if the United States should respond to the incident surrounding Mr Khashoggi,” Pompeo said.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime as well as a US resident and a Washington Post columnist, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for documents he needed to get married.

Turkish officials were reported to be in possession of an audio recording demonstrating that he was tortured, murdered and dismembered by a Saudi assassination team inside the consulate.

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