U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was concerned about reports of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing since last week and Turkish sources have said that authorities believe he was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
"I am concerned about it. I don't like hearing about it," Trump told reporters at the White House. "Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it."
House Speaker Paul Ryan called the disappearance of Khashoggi "very disturbing" and said the U.S. needed "clear facts" on the situation.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted late Monday: Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If true, this is a tragic day. Violence against journalists across the globe is a threat to freedom of the press & human rights. The free world deserves answers."
Previously, Republican senator Lindsey Graham said that Saudi Arabia would pay a "heavy price" if allegations that the kingdom killed Khashoggi prove true.
"We agree if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the U.S.-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid — economically and otherwise," Graham tweeted.
Meanwhile, The U.N. said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "very concerned" about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and violence against other journalists.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N. chief is following the Khashoggi case "closely".
Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the Saudi Consulate to prove whether or not Khashoggi exited the building after entering, saying the consulate officials "can't get away with [simply] saying 'he left the building'."
Turkish police investigating the case said in a statement Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.
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