RNA - Trump was asked by a reporter on Thursday who he thinks should be held accountable for Khashoggi’s death, World News reported.
“Maybe the world should be held accountable,” Trump replied, stating that “because the world is a vicious place. The world is a very vicious place”.
Trump continued to defend his response to Saudi Arabia over the murder of Khashoggi, asserting that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) "hates" the situation "more than I do".
"I hate the crime and I hate what is done and I hate the cover-up. And I will tell you this, the crown prince hates it more than I do," Trump told reporters.
Asked about the CIA report on Thursday, Trump stressed that the CIA's conclusion meant the agency "had feelings", not factual proof that the crown prince was involved.
While reports emerged last week that the CIA has concluded with a high degree of certainty that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing, Trump insisted Thursday that "the CIA points it both ways".
"As I said, 'Maybe he did, maybe he didn't'. But I will say very strongly that it's a very important ally. And if we go by a certain standard we won't be able to have allies with almost any country," he added.
Trump maintained that the CIA hasn’t concluded whether the crown prince ordered the killed and accused the press of “false reporting”, saying that “the CIA doesn’t say they did it. They do point out certain things. And pointing out those things, you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn’t".
“They didn’t conclude. They did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings certain ways. … Nobody’s concluded," he stated, noting that "I don’t know if anyone’s going to be able to conclude that the crown prince did”.
Trump said on Tuesday that the United States intends to remain a "steadfast partner" of Saudi Arabia even though "it could very well be" that MbS had knowledge of the killing of Khashoggi.
Defying pressure from US legislators to impose tougher sanctions on Saudi Arabia, the American president indicated he had no intention of cancelling military contracts with the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia initially rejected the claim that its nationals were behind the killing, but as Turkish authorities continued to leak evidence of high-level involvement, Riyadh eventually admitted that its agents carried out the murder with a series of contradictory explanations.
Saudi Arabia's deputy public prosecutor has announced that he was seeking the death penalty for five suspects charged in Khashoggi's killing, stressing that the crown prince knew nothing of the operation, in which Khashoggi's body was dismembered and removed from the consulate.