Khashoggi, a prominent journalist and royal court insider for decades in Saudi Arabia, had written columns critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the kingdom's direction while living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He went to the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.
The president said he wants lawmakers to keep in mind that he traveled to Saudi Arabia early in his presidency to secure greater investment in the U.S.
Initial reports suggest Khashoggi was involved in "a physical confrontation, which resulted in his death", the Saudi statement said.
The Saudi statements did not identify the 18 Saudis being held by authorities.
Trump previously said there would be "very severe" consequences if Saudi Arabia was discovered to be responsible.
Saudi Arabia has confirmed the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi on Friday.
Mr. Trump said he's waiting for multiple investigations to be completed into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a legal US resident who wrote columns for The Washington Post.
It also differs considerably from other reports of how Khashoggi died.
The admission directly contradicts the kingdom's previous assertions about Khosoggi's disappearance, including from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who personally told Bloomberg on October 5 that the dissident journalist left the Saudi consulate "after a few minutes or one hour". Saudi Arabia had rejected as baseless reports that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, but had been facing growing pressure to explain what happened to him. Central Intelligence Agency officials reportedly listended to the recording, which proved Khashoggi was killed and dimembered by the Saudis, people familiar with the situation said to The Washington Post. Here, Trump and Kushner are seen with Mohammed bin Salman, before he was named crown prince, in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in May 2017. Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of the Kingdom and the prince, and reportedly feared for his safety before his disappearance. According to Pompeo, the Saudis "strongly denied" having prior knowledge of whatever took place in the consulate and pledged to conduct a "thorough, transparent, and timely investigation".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on late Friday talked with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud by phone over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Trump's response to the Khashoggi crisis has been lukewarm.
"You'll remember with Justice Kavanaugh I said, 'hey, look, the senators are doing a great job". 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. The president said there "could be" sanctions on the Saudis, but left that as a hypothetical.
In a statement Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US will closely follow global investigations into Khashoggi's death and will advocate for justice that is "timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process". "We have to take all of these things into account".
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