“We need to find out what the facts are, and we need to get this resolved quickly, because if it is another operation, people need to understand that,” Bolton said Thursday. “I think the Saudis themselves are being damaged, because we don’t have the facts out.”
“I think this is ridiculous. I think it’s just hypocritical to say that somehow the president’s not concerned about these things when manifestly his words and his actions are to the contrary,” Bolton added.
Bolton’s comments followed a press briefing Thursday in which President Trump seemed to somewhat absolve himself of responsibility, telling reporters that “it’s not our country. It’s in Turkey, and it’s [Khashoggi] not a citizen, as I understand it.”
“But a thing like that shouldn’t happen,” Trump added. “It is a reporter with the Washington Post and it’s—something like that should not be allowed to happen. Something like that should not happen. And we intend to get to the bottom of it.”
Bolton said Trump had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to speak with Khashoggi’s fiancée, while Bolton himself had met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. While he claimed that the White House was taking other steps that he couldn’t discuss, he stressed they were not hiding any information from the public about what they know. “If we had information, we’d know better exactly how to handle this,” he said.
On Thursday, the Turkish government told U.S. officials that it had both audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.