Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he spoke with President Donald Trump on October 18 and told him that the United States should give Saudi Arabia more time to finalize their official investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Thursday that he will not attend a previously scheduled Saudi investment conference.
In an editorial headlined "Why is the Trump administration cleaning up Saudi Arabia's mess?".
Liam Fox, the worldwide trade secretary, has pulled out of next week's "Davos in the Desert" summit in Riyadh amid allegations that Saudi Arabia murdered Jamal Khashoggi, the missing journalist.
"Fox Business Network has canceled its sponsorship and participation in the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia". I mean, it's bad, bad stuff. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is reportedly unhappy about the meeting.
Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks with both Saudi and Turkish officials to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance.
"We should be able to get to the bottom of it fairly soon", Mr. Trump said on Thursday.
Saudi mulling over admission that journalist was killed in botched abduction
Mr Trump's comments led to a market sell-off on the kingdom's Tadawul benchmark index this week. Riyadh, however, has vowed to hit back against any punitive measures imposed over the affair.
While the U.S. president has been focusing on bullying China over trade manipulation, the USA has also been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and permanent USA resident, entered the consulate but never came out.
Saudi officials have repeatedly denied involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, and have been quiet about the details of their own investigation. "We continue to seek an interview with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman".
Only then, Pompeo said, "we can make decisions how or if the United States should respond". "I know what I'm going to do and I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi".
Also Friday, Turkey's pro-government Sabah newspaper printed more surveillance camera photographs allegedly showing members of a Saudi team that was brought in to Turkey to dispose of Khashoggi.
In a related development, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders on Thursday urged Turkey to urgently ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish a UN investigation into the possible extrajudicial execution of Khashoggi.
It is believed he was tortured, murdered and dismembered in the presence of up to 15 Saudi officials, including Dr al-Tubaigy and Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, who is a bodyguard for the Crown Prince.
Canada, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among other nations, consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group.