Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s description of a Saudi plot to kill Washington journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who died inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey, “flies in the face” of the royal family’s previous descriptions of what happened, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday.
“We will look for ways to hold accountable” those Saudis proved to be involved, Pence said.
“I want to assure … the American people we are going to get to the bottom of it,” he said. “This brutal murder of a journalist, of an innocent man … will not go without an American response.”
Speaking at a Washington Post space conference, Pence took a tougher tone than President Donald Trump, repeatedly promising actions to punish those involved.
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“We’re going to follow the facts,” he said. “We’re going to do what’s best for the American people. We’re going to make sure the world knows what happened.”
The VP declined to comment when asked if he has seen intelligence linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the alleged operation to lure the columnist who had been critical of him to Istanbul then murder him.
On Monday, Trump told reporters he is “not satisfied” with Saudi Arabia’s claims that Khashoggi died during a fistfight that broke out after an argument inside the consulate.
Pence also did not endorse lawmakers’ calls for sanctions to punish any Saudis deemed responsible, but he also did not rule that out.
Pence addressed the migrant caravan in Mexico, too, calling it inconceivable that some individuals of Middle Eastern descent are not part of the group heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Like President Trump, he did not offer evidence.
But he did say Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández told him personally the caravan was organized by left-wing groups in that country and financed by the Venezuelan government, which is run by the embattled United Socialist Party.
He vowed the Trump administration would do everything in its power to stop the caravan from crossing the border.