Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to reporters after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Meylut Cavusglu Tuesday afternoon, after President Trump released a statement saying the U.S. would stand with Saudi Arabia, regardless of what the intelligence community concludes about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's involvement in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October.
The CIA has assessed that Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, ordered the killing of Khashoggi, based mainly on an understanding of how the kingdom operates and the proximity of several participants in the killing to the heir-in-waiting, as well as the organizations involved.
Turkey has said it shared evidence with its partners, including the U.S., that shows it was a pre-meditated murder. The Turkish president has said it was afrom the "highest level" of the Saudi government.
"It's a mean nasty world out there, the Middle East in particular," Pompeo said. He said that the president's chief concern was American safety. He said the "long, historic" relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia was critical for national security.
Pompeo also denied that Mr. Trump, in his statement about Khashoggi, suggested that the extrajudicial murder of a journalist was less important than U.S. security interests.