"I think it's a good first step, it's a big step".
At the same time, Peter Navarro, Trump's White House trade chief and architect of his "Buy American" policy to ease restrictions on foreign arms sales, was stressing the importance of Saudi weapons deals and the implications for USA jobs, another administration official told Reuters. No major decisions in Saudi Arabia are made outside of the ultraconservative kingdom's ruling Al Saud family. "What happened is unacceptable". He called for a US investigation.
The London-based rights group said early Saturday that the "impartiality" of a Saudi probe into the case would remain in question after the kingdom admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.
On Saturday Saudi Arabian officials released a statement saying Khashoggi died after a fight broke out in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Saudi officials initially denied he had been harmed.
"We will continue to closely follow the worldwide investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process".
Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier in the week to Riyadh, where the top USA diplomat praised the Saudis for conducting a probe and called for the two nations to maintain a close alliance for the sake of business deals and their shared opposition to Iran.
Khashoggi disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
In a statement on Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the USA will closely follow global investigations into Mr Khashoggi's death and will advocate for justice that is "timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process". In the past week, reports that cited Turkish officials painted a more gruesome picture: Reports said that one of Khashoggi's interrogators was an autopsy specialist with a bone saw, and that Khashoggi was ultimately dismembered.
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He was trying to obtain documents for a marriage license at the consulate. Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak has published what it said were details from the audio. A person with knowledge of the matter said the Washington Post contributor died after he was placed in a choke hold following a physical altercation.
He described Prince Mohammed as "an old-fashioned tribal leader" out of touch with Saudi's poor.
One issue will be how much blame can be placed on bin Salman, known by many as MBS.
The growing crisis prompted the king to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family told Reuters.
CNN reports Saudi set up a commission to investigate and the crown prince will head it.
"Mohammed bin Salman had no knowledge of this specific operation and certainly did not order a kidnapping or murder of anybody".
Oct 4: The consulate says Mr Khashoggi left the building and it has no idea about his whereabouts.
This, the statement added, "resulted in the formation of the Joint Investigation Team between the Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey and the permission to the Turkish authorities to enter the premisses [sic] of the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul and the residence of the consul, for the Kingdom keenness to know all the facts".