President Reluctant to Condemn Saudis
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's remarks on the missing Saudi journalist:
President Donald Trump says the U.S. is asking Turkey for audio and video relating to missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "if it exists."
The president on Wednesday called Saudi Arabia an important ally, noting it is an important customer for U.S. military exports.
Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudis' Istanbul consulate, which Saudi officials have denied.
U.S. officials say they are taking Khashoggi's disappearance seriously, but Trump says he has not sent the FBI, stressing that he was not "American citizen."
In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Trump warned against a rush to judgment, comparing condemnation of Saudi Arabia to the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
President Trump has also criticized rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of a missing Saudi journalist, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis' request for patience.
Turkish officials have said journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudis' Istanbul consulate. In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.
Trump said, "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent."
Trump's remarks were his most robust defense yet of the Saudis, a U.S. ally he has made central to his Mideast agenda. The Saudis put the president at odds with other key allies and with some leaders in his Republican Party who have condemned the Saudi leadership for what they say is an obvious role in the case.