As global pressure mounted on Saudi Arabia over the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom came out swinging Sunday, threatening to retaliate and spelling out the ways in which Riyadh would punish the United States if it imposed sanctions.
Khashoggi, who moved to the U.S. in 2017 and worked as a columnist for The Washington Post, disappeared in Turkey on October 2 when he reportedly entered the building of Saudi Arabia's Consulate in the city of Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since the disappearance with countries such as France, the U.S., and Turkey demanding answers from the kingdom.
Turkish sources have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the building and his body removed, allegations that Riyadh dismisses as baseless.
Saudi Arabia on Sunday threatened to retaliate for any sanctions imposed against it after President Donald Trump said the oil-rich kingdom deserves "severe punishment" if it is responsible for the disappearance and suspected murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, who was considered close to the Saudi royal family, had become a critic of the current government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old heir apparent who has introduced reforms but has shown little tolerance for criticism.
In protest of Khashoggi's disappearance, several USA businesses leaders have pulled out of next week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, dubbed "Davos in the Desert", after the annual meeting of world economic interests in Switzerland.
Trump said he plans to review recordings from the Turkish Government that purport to show evidence of Khashoggi's killing.
The US has been under increasing pressure to demand answers from Saudi Arabia, a long-time US ally in the Middle East, as to Khashoggi's disappearance.
As Saudi Arabia warned of possible economic retaliation of its own, Sens.
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Trump said "nobody knows yet" what happened inside the consulate, "but we'll probably be able to find out" if Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder.
Journalists report from outside the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.
"There's a lot at stake", he said.
"I think we'd be punishing ourselves if we did that", he said.
He added that the US' reputation is on the line by how Trump responds.
He warned that that if it turns out that Saudi authorities are behind all this, the U.S. would inflict "severe punishment" on them.
So far, administration officials have also expressed reluctance to canceling participation in Saudi Arabia's signature economic forum, the Future Investment Initiative.
But both the White House and the kingdom are under mounting pressure as concern grows over the fate of the veteran journalist, who hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Media minister Jumana Ghunaimat said in a press statement on Sunday that Jordan stands with Saudi Arabia in the face of any targeted rumors and campaigns aimed without relying on facts. I tell you want I don't want to do - Boeing, Lockeed, Raytheon, all those - I don't wanna hurt jobs.