Shep Smith: Trump 'insulted the murder victim and sided with the Saudis'

Fox News host Shepard Smith said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE insulted a murdered journalist by stating that the U.S. would seek to maintain a "steadfast" alliance with the Saudi government. 

"President Trump stands with Saudi Arabia," Smith said on his news program as he reacted to Trump's announcement. "Today the president insulted the murder victim and sided with the Saudis, who said our CIA is wrong."

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His comments came only moments after the White House released a defiant statement in which Trump made it clear that he does not want the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to disrupt relations between the countries.

Trump also refused to blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the incident, despite the CIA's reported conclusions that he ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi. 

"Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!" the president said.

Trump added that "we may never know" who was responsible for Khashoggi's death.

The Saudi journalist was killed on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Saudi government has said Khashoggi was killed by a team that met him when he arrived. But it has denied the crown prince had any knowledge about the operation.  

Smith noted that while Trump appeared to signal that Saudi Arabia would not face severe punishment, he "may not have the last say."

"We’re waiting for the full report from the CIA," Smith said, adding that lawmakers and U.S. allies are putting pressure on the White House to punish the Saudis.

"But today the president got ahead of his intelligence agencies. In essence for now, it doesn’t matter what the intel says, we’re standing with the Saudi kingdom."