×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Vows ‘Severe Punishment’ Over Khashoggi Disappearance in ’60 Minutes’ Interview

President Donald Trump has vowed to seek “severe punishment” if officials from Saudi Arabia are found to have been involved in the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump made the remarks in a sit-down interview with “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl that was recorded Thursday at the White House. The President has been criticized for his failure to take a strong stand on the Khashoggi situation. The interview will air Sunday on the CBS newsmagazine.

Khashoggi was last seen Oct. 2 entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to handle paperwork needed for his planned marriage. Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée called police when he did not emerge from the consulate after several hours.

Trump tells Stahl that the Saudi crown prince denied any connection to Khashoggi’s disappearance in a telephone call with senior White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“They deny it. They deny it every way you can imagine. In the not too distant future I think we’ll know an answer,” Trump tells Stahl.

Pressed on the question of the U.S. response, Trump acknowledges that Khashoggi’s status as a journalist makes the prospect of state-sponsored violence of great concern to the U.S. Trump notes that he recognizes the significance of the Saudi regime’s alleged effort to silence journalists despite his own contentious relationship with many mainstream news outlets.

“There’s a lot at stake, there’s a lot at stake,” Trump tells Stahl. “And, maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There’s something– you’ll be surprised to hear me say that, there’s something really terrible and disgusting about that if that was the case so we’re going to  have to see. We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment.”

At the same time, Trump also asserts that he doesn’t want to halt a planned sale of arms and military equipment to the Saudis because of the impact on U.S. manufacturers. Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, I don’t want to hurt jobs,” Trump said. “I don’t want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

The interview marks Trump’s first appearance on “60 Minutes” since he sat with in November 2016 on the heels of his victory in the 2016 presidential election.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content