U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said it was "not looking too good" for the fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, suggesting he might have been killed.
Khashoggi, whose writings have been critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been missing since entering the country's consulate in Istanbul Oct. 2.
"I think we would've known by now. That was our first hope. Our first hope was that he was not killed, but maybe that's not looking too good ... from what we're hearing," Trump told journalists at the White House.
Trump also said United States would be "punishing itself" if it halted military sales to Saudi Arabia, even if it was proved that Khashoggi had been killed.
In excerpts of an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes that were released Saturday, Trump said, "We're going to get to the bottom of" the Khashoggi case, "and there will be severe punishment" if he has been killed.
Trump said that "nobody knows yet, but we'll probably be able to find out" if bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi. Trump added that the U.S. "would be very upset and angry if that were the case."
Media reports said Khashoggi might have recorded his own death on his Apple Watch.
The accounts said Khashoggi turned on the sound recording capability on the device as he entered the Saudi consulate, where he went to get a document he needed for his upcoming marriage.
The watch was reportedly connected to Apple's cloud computing service and the cellphone that he left with his fiancee before he entered the consulate. His fiancee said she waited for Khashoggi to come out of the consulate, but he never left.
The reports said the watch recorded not only Khashoggi's interrogation and torture but also his slaying.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, has written columns for The Washington Post that have been critical of Saudi Arabia.
The Post reported earlier this week that the Turkish government told U.S. officials it had video recordings that proved Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.
Saudi officials have denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and said he left the consulate shortly after entering. The Saudi interior minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, called the reports that the government ordered Khashoggi killed "lies and baseless allegations."
A group of 15 Saudi men reportedly flew to Istanbul the day that Khashoggi went to the consulate. Media reports said the men were in the consulate when Khashoggi was there. The men stayed at the consulate for a few hours and then took flights back to Saudi Arabia.
Turkish officials were working to determine the identities of all the men.
One member of the group, according to CNN, was identified by Turkey's official Anadolu news agency and the Sabah newspaper as Salah Muhammed al-Tubaiqi, who the media outlets said was listed on an official Saudi health website as head of the forensic medicine department at the Interior Ministry.