The Washington Post reports:
President Trump retreated late Saturday from his stance that Saudi Arabia’s story about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside their Turkish consulate was credible but still gave a strong vote of confidence to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, arguing the United States’ relationship with the kingdom is key to his administration’s policy objectives in the Middle East.
“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post when pressed on the many discrepancies in the changing accounts from the Saudis. “Their stories are all over the place.”
He did not call for the ouster of Mohammed and instead praised his leadership, calling the prince “a strong person, he has very good control.” During the 20-minute interview, Trump repeatedly talked about the importance of the economic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia and Mohammed’s role in that relationship.