U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, Oct. 23, 2018.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, Oct. 23, 2018.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that U.S. authorities are still investigating the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.

The top U.S. diplomat told Fox News that the United States would hold those found responsible accountable for his death, noting that the U.S. has already imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi agents it believes were responsible.

Pompeo called Khashoggi's killing "a tragic incident," and "not something that America approves of."

U.S. President Donald Trump sits for an exclusive interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Dec. 11, 2018.
Trump Says Standing by Saudi Crown Prince Despite Pleas From Senate
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he stood by Saudi Arabia's crown prince despite a CIA assessment that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pleas from U.S. senators for Trump to condemn the kingdom's de facto ruler.Trump refused to comment on whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder, but he provided perhaps his most explicit show of support for the prince since Khashoggi's death more than two months ago."He's the leader of Saudi Arabia. …

However, he echoed President Donald Trump's stand supporting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Salman, the country's de facto ruler, was behind the October 2 killing.

Last month, Trump said, "The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone." But, he added, "The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."

Mongi Dhaouadi (L) and Ahmed Bedier set up an image of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi before an event to remember Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, in Washington, N
Saudi Arabia's Critics Push for Swift US Senate Action
U.S. lawmakers eager to castigate Saudi Arabia for killing a journalist and its conduct of a military campaign in Yemen hope the Senate soon will pass one or more measures reflecting Washington's growing anger. But they acknowledged the effort is likely to continue when a new Congress begins work in January.Measures awaiting Senate consideration include a resolution naming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death, a resolution to end U.S. …

Trump said it "could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event -- maybe he did and maybe he didn't!"

CIA director Gina Haspel is briefing leaders of the House of Representatives on the agency's Khashoggi findings behind closed doors on Wednesday, much as she did for Senate leaders a week ago.

Key Republican senators rejected Trump's equivocation on Salman's involvement in the Khashoggi killing and have called for sanctions against Riyadh and a cut-off of support for Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war in Yemen.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks at a news conference about efforts to end modern slavery, Sept. 14, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Key US Lawmakers: Saudi Crown Prince Was Behind Khashoggi Killing
Key U.S. senators said Tuesday there was overwhelming evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the killing of a dissident Saudi journalist inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, rejecting President Donald Trump's claim that the case against him wasn't convincing."If the crown prince went in front of a jury, he'd be convicted (of murder) in 30 minutes," Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters after hearing Central…

Senator Lindsey Graham, after listening to Haspel's briefing, said, "You have to be willfully blind" not to conclude the killing was orchestrated by agents under the command of the crown prince.

"There's not a smoking gun, but a smoking saw," Graham added, referring to investigators' conclusion that Khashoggi's dismembered body was cut up with a bone saw.

In a separate interview Wednesday, outgoing U.S. United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley told NBC, "We need to have a serious, hard talk with the Saudis to let them know we won't condone this, we won't give you a pass and don't do this again. And then I think that the administration has to talk about where we go from here."