Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE's response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday, saying it represented a "betrayal of long-established American values of respect for human rights."

"[Trump] is placing personal relationships and commercial interests above American interests in his desire to continue to do business as usual with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia," Ryan said in a statement.

"The CIA has thoroughly investigated the murder of this innocent journalist and concluded with high confidence that it was directed by the crown prince. If there is reason to doubt the findings of the CIA, President Trump should immediately make that evidence public."

The newspaper's editorial board also blasted Trump's comments in an opinion piece Tuesday.

“Mr. Trump has betrayed American values in service to what already was a bad bet on the 33-year-old prince,” the editorial board wrote. 


They called for Congress to hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman  accountable, saying that the “alternative is a world in which dictators know they can murder their critics and suffer no consequences.”

The forceful comments came moments after Trump announced that the U.S. would seek to keep a “steadfast” alliance with the Saudi government, a statement that appeared to make clear that he does not want Khashoggi’s killing to disrupt relations between the countries.

Trump also refused to blame Crown Prince Mohammed for Khashoggi’s killing, saying that “we may never know” who was responsible for the death of the Saudi journalist, who resided in the U.S. and was a columnist for The Post.

The statement contradicted the CIA’s assessment of the case. Multiple outlets including The Post reported last week that the CIA has concluded that the crown prince ordered the assassination of Khashoggi.

The journalist was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey on Oct. 2. The Saudi government has said Khashoggi was killed by a team that met him when he arrived, but has denied the crown prince had any knowledge of the operation. 

Ryan concluded his statement by saying that Trump's "surrender to this state-ordered murder will only make" the world more dangerous.

"An innocent man, brutally slain, deserves better, as does the cause of truth and justice and human rights," he said, before calling on Congress to to stand up for "America's true values."

Ryan's statement was echoed by Khashoggi's editor at the Washington Post, Karen Attiah, who said Trump's announcement represented "a new low."

– Chris Mills Rodrigo contributed

Updated: 7 p.m.