For US President Donald Trump, it "certainly" seems that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared two weeks ago in Istanbul, is dead.
If this is confirmed, there will be very serious consequences.
"It certainly looks that way… Very sad," said the President when asked by a reporter whether Khashoggi, who disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was dead.
Trump also said in remarks to reporters before boarding Air Force One to fly to a campaign rally in Montana that the alleged crime "will have serious consequences."
The President said that it would be a miracle if the journalist is not dead.
"Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he’s dead," the President said. "That’s based on everything – intelligence coming from every side."
He noted that the case is not a positive development for US-Saudi relations.
Trump’s words came after he was informed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the latest aspects of the case – in so far as they have been related to the US officials by Saudi and Turkish authorities.
Pompeo had travelled to Riyadh and Ankara this week to speak with local authorities there regarding Khashoggi’s disappearance, but returned and briefed the President personally at the White House on Thursday morning about what he had learned.
Trump had predicted on Wednesday that the truth about Khashoggi’s disappearance probably would become known before the end of this week.
He added that the most important thing as far as he’s concerned is to determine if Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew anything about the journalist’s possible murder.>