Forty-nine percent of registered voters say the U.S. should wait to act until after an independent investigation determines if the Saudi Arabian government is responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, according to a new American Barometer survey.
The poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, also found that 29 percent of respondents said the U.S. should impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia because they believe top Saudi Arabian leadership is responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
Sixteen percent of respondents said the U.S. should not be involved in the matter.
Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post columnist, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.
The Saudi government originally said that Khashoggi left the consulate after entering, but later said he died at the consulate after an altercation. Saudi Arabia’s attorney general this week shifted the story again, saying that it had received information from Turkey’s government that indicated Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that it could be several more weeks until the U.S. formally responds to Khashoggi’s death, but said the Trump administration was reviewing putting sanctions on individuals they have identified as being engaged in the murder.
President Trump has vowed the U.S. will “get to the bottom” of Khashoggi’s death, and said earlier this month after speaking with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he was “not satisfied” with the Saudi government’s official explanation.
However, Trump has said that any U.S. response will not jeopardize long-standing business relationships with Saudi Arabia.
The American Barometer was conducted on Oct. 27-28 among 1,200 registered voters. The sampling margin of error is 2.83 percentage points.
— Julia Manchester