“With regards to the situation in Saudi Arabia, I’d say that right now as an administration we’re more in the fact-finding phase and we’re obviously getting as many facts as we can from the different places and then we’ll determine which facts are credible,” Jared Kushner told CNN on Monday.
Saudi operatives tortured, murdered, and dismembered Khashoggi at the monarchy’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month, according to Turkish authorities.
The White House adviser, who has a close relationship with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, added that he urged the country’s de facto leader to “be transparent.”
“This is a very serious accusation, a very serious situation,” Kushner said. “I’d say our strategy in the Middle East relies on … America’s interests… And how do we utilize all the things that are available to us to try to push things forward?”
Intelligence intercepts reportedly show that Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi mission in Istanbul on October 2, was murdered on bin Salman’s direct order.
Kushner denied reports that he had advised Trump to wait out the international criticism of Khashoggi’s likely assassination by reminding him that the monarchy has preciously faced similar situations.
Saudi Arabia acknowledged the murder for the first time on Friday, yet leaving many questions unanswered.