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Trump says he'll consult Congress on what to do about Khashoggi

Last Updated Oct 19, 2018 5:06 PM EDT

President Trump said he expects to consult Congress over what to do in light of the apparent death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mr. Trump, speaking at an event in Arizona, said he'll handle the situation similarly to the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in that regard.

Mr. Trump said he might have conclusions to draw and discuss with Congress as soon as Monday. Mr. Trump has insisted he wants to wait until the Saudi and Turkish investigations are complete. 

"You'll remember with Justice Kavanaugh I said, 'hey, look, the senators are doing a great job. Senator Grassley, Lindsey, John Cornyn, all of them. Every one of them.' I said, 'let them decide what to do in terms of that investigation,' and I think I'll have a very similar attitude on this. I think you know we have, Congress is very much involved. I will in this case make certain recommendations."

And yet, the president repeated a line he has in the past — that the Saudi investment in the U.S. is crucial to the economy. The president said there "could be" sanctions on the Saudis, but left that as a hypothetical. 

"I did this, I went to Saudi Arabia first, and a large part of the reason was they agreed to do this, they agreed to spent $450 billion on buying and investing in the United States," the president said. "So I hope we can keep that, I hope we don't lose track of that. There are plenty of other things we can do. But we're going to have some answers pretty quickly, but I will have Congress involved, which I think is an important part of your question."

The president has taken a wait-and-see approach to the seeming death of Khashoggi. Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday he thinks Khashoggi is dead, but is waiting for the conclusion of Turkish and Saudi investigations before he casts blame. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. 

Mr. Trump met with supporters in a closed-press roundtable Friday morning in Scottsdale, before delivering remarks at a closed-press joint fundraising committee luncheon for Republicans. In the afternoon, he'll tour Luke Air Force Base and take part in a roundtable on defense, one of his favorite topics. 

The president is doing three "Make America Great Again" rallies three days in a row, after holding one in Montana Wednesday night. He will hold another rally in Elko, Nevada, Saturday night. He'll hold another rally in Arizona Friday evening. 

On Thursday night, even as he has blasted Democrats as the party of "mob" rule and declared Republicans the party of "law and order," Mr. Trump praised GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter last year. The president said anyone who can do a body slam like that is his kind of guy. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.