Before Mr Trump spoke, the administration announced that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had pulled out of a major upcoming Saudi investment conference and a U.S. official said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned the Saudi crown prince that his credibility as a future leader was at stake.
Saudi Arabia and its powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, have faced a spiraling global crisis over the apparent murder.
The mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has rocked Riyadh to such a degree that King Salman chose to send a trusted emissary to Istanbul to help defuse the crisis, according to a report.
"The United States acknowledges the announcement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that its investigation into the fate of Jamal Khashoggi is progressing and that it has taken action against the suspects it has identified thus far", Sarah Sanders, the press secretary said.
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Shortly after Trump and Pompeo met at the White House, Mnuchin announced that after consulting the president and his top diplomat "I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia".
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".
- Saudi Arabia's consul to Istanbul Mohammed al-Otaibion on October 16, 2018 left the Turkish city bound for Riyadh on a scheduled flight, reports said, as Turkey prepared to search his residence.
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said after meeting with Trump and Pompeo that he has chose to cancel his coming trip to the kingdom for a major trade conference. He also said it's critical that Arab voices have a platform on which to be heard.
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It was not immediately clear if police had already searched the areas. Saudi officials deny any involvement in his disappearance.
"The Saudi "explanation" for murdering journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate_a fistfight gone wrong_is insulting", tweeted Sen. The Saudi consul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, abruptly left Istanbul for Riyadh on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press over recent days over Khashoggi's disappearance.
Demanding a full and independent investigation by the United Nations into Khashoggi's likely assassination on Thursday, Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said that "Khashoggi's family and the rest of the world deserve the full truth about what happened to him".
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Meshal Saad M Albostani, a lieutenant in the Saudi Royal Air Force, is said to have died in a suspicious traffic accident in Riyadh, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported.