Trump Puts Saudi Government On Notice Over Disappearance Of Journalist

President Donald Trump told CBS News there would be "severe punishment" if Saudi Arabia was behind the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

President Trump said there is a lot at stake "and maybe especially so because this man was a reporter".

The interview is his first with 60 Minutes since his post-election conversation with Lesley Stahl in November 2016.

Trump said the Saudis denied "in every way you can imagine" having anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance when his son-in-law Jared Kushner spoke with Saudi Arabia's crown prince.

But he said the country may still be responsible and an investigation is ongoing.

"Could it be them? Yes," the president said.

When asked what kind of punishments he may pursue if Saudi Arabia is found to be behind the disappearance, Trump wouldn't commit to sanctions or cutting sales of military equipment to Saudi from American companies.

READ MORE: Turkey 'Has Recording Providing Missing Journalist Was Killed'

"I'll tell you what I don't want to do," Trump said, "I don't want to hurt jobs. I don't want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing."

"There's a lot at stake," he continued.

"And, maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There's something, you'll be surprised to hear me say that, there's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that was the case."

The interview at The White House also touched on controversial tariffs, China, North Korea, Russia, NATO and global warming.