×

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

  • Brian Roberts Steve Burke Comcast

    Comcast Chief Brian Roberts Gets Pay Bump, NBCU's Steve Burke Sees Decline in 2018

    Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts saw a bump in his total compensation for 2018 while NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke’s haul declined by more than $6 million last year. Roberts’ total compensation reached $35 million last year, fueled by a $10.7 million performance bonus and more than $10 million in stock options and awards. That was up [...]

  • 'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of

    'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of Possibilities,' Will Make You Cry

    The Thursday evening conversation between game-making auteur Hideo Kojima and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus about highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game “Death Stranding” was filled with interesting anecdotes, but little in the way of hard fact. Instead, Kojima made a promise of sorts to the audience and seemingly fans everywhere waiting for more news on the [...]

  • Ariana Grande Olivia Munn Michael Che

    Celebrities vs. Critics: Why This Battle Has No Winners (Column)

    When actor Olivia Munn tweeted a “short essay on…ugly behaviors” late Wednesday night, she insisted that a blog had been unfairly maligning her for years. She wrote that she wanted to confront the idea that baseless critiques, particularly those aimed at women, are never okay no matter how famous the target may be. On the [...]

  • ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game in

    ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game Will Pitch Players Into the Action

    “Peaky Blinders” fans will be able to join the gang – virtually – in a new VR game that will allow players to interact with characters from the hit series. Start-up immersive studio Maze Theory teamed with the show’s producers and is making the game, which will launch in 2020. Artificial intelligence technology means characters [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO's 'Deadwood: The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'Deadwood: The Movie' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the trailer for the “Deadwood” film, and CNN announced a premiere date for “Apollo 11.”  DATES The documentary “Apollo 11” from director/producer Todd Douglas Miller will premiere on CNN Sunday, June 23 at 9 p.m. Using only archival sources, the film captures NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission. FIRST [...]

  • shannon ryan

    Shannon Ryan Joins Disney TV, ABC as Marketing Chief

    Former Fox Television chief marketing officer Shannon Ryan has been tapped as the new president of marketing for ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios. The announcement was made by Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, and Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, to whom she will report. Rumours had been circling for a while [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content