From an interview of President Trump by Maggie Haberman, Mark Landler and Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times:
President Trump said on Thursday that he believes the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and he expressed confidence in intelligence reports from multiple sources that strongly suggest a high-level Saudi role in Mr. Khashoggi’s assassination.
Mr. Trump stopped short of saying the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s death. But the president acknowledged that the allegations that the prince ordered the killing raised deep questions about the American alliance with Saudi Arabia and had ignited one of the most serious foreign policy crises of his presidency.
“This one has caught the imagination of the world, unfortunately,” Mr. Trump said to reporters from The New York Times in a brief interview in the Oval Office. “It’s not a positive. Not a positive.”
“Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he’s dead,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s based on everything — intelligence coming from every side.”
A short time later, Mr. Trump reiterated to reporters at Joint Base Andrews that he believed Mr. Khashoggi is dead, and said “this is bad, bad stuff and the consequences should be severe.”
So is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman strong enough inside Saudi Arabia to handle any push to force him out of power if the U.S. sanctions the Kingdom or will he withstand the threat and sanctions and align himself closer with Russia?