President Donald Trump gave Tuesday his most direct approval of Saudi Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who both the United States and Saudi Arabia moved to clear him in after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump has criticized his defense of the crown prince in the wake of Khashoggi's death in the hands of Saudi agents – some have even accused the president of helping the Saudi leadership "cover up" for their mistakes.
Speaking to Reuters during an interview held at the Oval Office, Trump refused to comment on whether Mohammed was responsible for Khashoggi's death, despite assessments by the CIA and a group of bipartisan senators who put him in the murder's assassination.
READ MORE: Senators are now convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was "complicated" in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
"He is a leader in Saudi Arabia. They have been a very good Allied, "said Trump in his most explicit show about support for the Prince since the October 2 run.
Dozens of members of the Saudi royal family have been working to prevent the crown prince from rising to the throne and discussing the possibility of setting up another Saudi royal in King Salman's place if he should die. Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, 76, the king's younger brother, who suddenly and mysteriously returned to the kingdom in the Khashoggi scandal, has been designated as a potential successor.
Trump spoke to Reuters and denied that the Crown Prince's power was in danger.
"I just have not heard it," said Trump. "Honestly, I can not comment because I did not hear it at all. In fact, I've ever heard that he's very strong in power."
Earlier this month, US Senators presented a measure to keep the Crown Prince in charge of a number of human rights violations, including the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the prison of Saudi Arabian activists at no cost and the ruthless deprivation of liberty and the extortion of his criticism. They also announced with a "high degree of trust" that Prince Mohammed was "complicated" at the brutal killings.
If approved, the measure would put the senate on record that blames the debt directly to the crown prince who has distanced himself from the plot despite sanctions on several members of his inner circle for his alleged commitment.
On Sunday, CNN published the most comprehensive story to date of sound allegedly played during Khashoggi last moment. Translated transcript of the recording apparently showed that Khashoggi left gasping for air, and the sound of sawing and cutting could be heard along with what is considered his scream.