Trump concedes Khashoggi is dead, promises 'severe consequences'

- Despite any official confirmation, President Donald Trump told reporters that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is likely dead.

"It certainly looks that way," Trump said. "Very sad."

The president also promised severe consequences for the Saudi Arabian government if it was behind the killing.

But Saudi Arabia has called the allegations that it ordered his death "baseless."

Khashoggi hasn't been seen since he went inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul more than two weeks ago. Turkish authorities said they have recordings proving that someone killed and dismembered Khashoggi inside the consulate.

Both the Turkish and Saudi governments are conducting separate investigations into Khashoggi's disappearance. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just returned from visits with Turkish and Saudi officials to urge them to carry out credible investigations.

"I told President Trump this morning that 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," Pompeo said. "At which point, we can make decisions about how, or if, the United States should respond to the incident surrounding Mr. Khashoggi."

Khashoggi was a permanent resident of the United States and wrote for The Washington Post and other publications.

The Post published his final column this week. In the piece, Khashoggi wrote: "Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. … The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power."

With the AP and Fox News

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