Trump Contradicts CIA
The president has gone so far as to say the Saudi crown prince "vehemently" denies the accusations and that the intelligence community only has "feelings" and no smoking gun.
Fox News' Edmund DeMarche has more:
Trump has been widely criticized for his reaction to the writer’s killing. Despite his intelligence, Trump said he was not convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about the murder.
“King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said in a lengthy statement.
Trump’s statement appeared to indicate he does not wish to take action against the Saudi government in response to the killing of Khashoggi.
Many Republicans — even Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, who share their views on the matter with the president — have denounced Trump’s decision not to levy harsher penalties on bin Salman over the death and dismemberment of Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
To this day, Saudi Arabia represents a paradox in America's War on Terror. The country's government remains a close partner of the United State's counterterrorism efforts. However, Saudi support for militant preachers and controversial non-government organizations contributes to Islamic extremism.
Of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers who killed 2,996 people on September 11, 2001, 16 were from Saudi Arabia.