WASHINGTON • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it would be a "handful more weeks" before the United States had enough evidence to impose sanctions in response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Mr Pompeo, in a US radio interview, said President Donald Trump had made it clear that Washington would respond to the killing. He said the administration is "reviewing putting sanctions on the individuals that we have been able to identify to date that... were engaged in that murder".
"It'll take us probably a handful more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually put those sanctions in place, but I think we'll be able to get there," Mr Pompeo said on Thursday.
Mr Khashoggi, who lived in the US and wrote columns for the Washington Post, went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 to collect some documents, but he never reappeared. Riyadh initially denied any role in his disappearance, but eventually identified 18 suspects.
Days after the disappearance, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Mr Khashoggi as a dangerous Islamist in a phone call with Mr Trump's son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, and National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to people familiar with the discussion.
The Crown Prince said the journalist was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group long opposed by senior Trump officials, and urged Mr Kushner and Mr Bolton to preserve the US-Saudi alliance.
Mr Khashoggi's family said he was not a member of the group.
REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST