WASHINGTON — President Donaldof a Saudi writer missing and feared murdered but expressed reservations over calls to withhold further U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, warning that such a move “would be hurting us.” Decades of close U.S.-Saudi relations, which have only intensified under Mr. Trump, appeared in jeopardy by the suggestion of a carefully plotted murder of a government critic, after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey. The wealthy former government insider had been living in the U.S. in self-imposed exile.
In an interview Wednesday with “Fox News Night,” Mr. Trump said he wanted to find out what happened to Khashoggi but appeared reluctant to consider blocking arms sales, citing economic reasons.
“I think that would be hurting us,” Mr. Trump said. “We have jobs, we have a lot of things happening in this country. We have a country that’s doing probably better economically than it’s ever done before.”
He continued: “Part of that is what we’re doing with our defense systems and everybody’s wanting them. And frankly I think that that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country. I mean, you’re affecting us and, you know, they’re always quick to jump that way.”