During Pompeo's visit to Saudi Arabia, the top diplomat and the crown prince smiled for the cameras and emphasized the two countries' mutual interests.
Asked whether the United States was seeking audio or video evidence that Turkey reportedly has, Trump said: "We have asked for it, if it exists". I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together.
When asked if the US would distance itself from Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case, Trump said, "I do not want to do that and frankly they have a tremendous order, $110 billion", referring to a promised Saudi purchase of USA -made weaponry in the coming years.
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies and columnist for the Washington Post who was living in the United States, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get marriage documents.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's smiling photo op with Saudi Arabia's crown prince disguised the reality of a blunt, tough meeting in which the top U.S. diplomat told the royal his future as king depends on his handling of Jamal Khashoggi's suspected murder.
"We've asked for it, if it exists", Trump told reporters on Wednesday. Khashoggi had frequently criticized the Saudi government and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "Here we go again with you're guilty until proven innocent", Trump said, drawing comparisons to the murder to accusations made against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who staved off allegations of sexual assault during his confirmation process.
Suleyman Soylu, the Turkish interior minister, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday said there must be a "joint consensus" in order for the search at the residence of the Saudi consul general to go ahead. Both the king and his anointed heir continue to deny all responsibility for Khashoggi's disappearance.
The AP's Oval Office interview came not long after Trump spoke Tuesday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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In this photo from February 1, 2015, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia is one of Washington's closest allies and the Khashoggi disappearance is putting the administration in an awkward position.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham warned there would be "hell to pay" if Khashoggi was killed.
On it, Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi could be heard on the tape telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble", the newspaper reported.
Trump, speaking to reporters this week, also suggested that conclusions shouldn't be drawn against the Saudis' alleged assassination of Khashoggi.
Trump has resisted any action, pointing to huge USA weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could end up hurting the American economy.
The leaking of such grisly details, on the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting Turkey, reflected an escalation of pressure by the Turkish government on Saudi Arabia and the United States for answers on the fate of Jamal Khashoggi. "I have to find out what happened", he said.
But this is the first time Turkish media have claimed to have heard the recording.