The US commander-in-chief conceded the Saudi prosecutor’s version of events – that Mr Khashoggi had been murdered after a ‘fist fight’ fracas in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul – were credible.
Asked if he believed the assertions made earlier today, he said: “I do, I do.”
Trump also said Saudi Arabia’s announcement of arrests after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a “good first step,” and what happened was “unacceptable”.
He disclosed he would work with Congress to orchestrate an appropriate US response.
But he said he did not want to hurt American companies and jobs by cutting billions of dollars in arms sales to the kingdom.
The President instead insisted he’d prefer “some form of sanction” on Saudi Arabia after the journalist’s death.
He said the death of Mr Khashoggi was a “horrible event” that has not gone “unnoticed.”
Trump made the remarks during a defence roundtable at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where he was holding a political rally.
But Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump supporter, expressed scepticism about the Saudi Arabian version of events that Mr Khashoggi – a critic of the royal family – died during a “fist fight” in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The Republican Graham tweeted: “To say that I am sceptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement.”
Mr Khashoggi – who was a Washington Post columnist – was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on October 2.
He had gone there to get marriage papers for him and his fiancé, who was waiting outside before he disappeared.
CCTV footage showed Mr Khashoggi entering the consulate as his finance was left outside.
Turkish authorities were quick to allege Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the writer’s sudden disappearance, and it soon emerged they believed he had been brutally dismembered using a so-called “bone saw”.
Istanbul police have been scouring the area surrounding Istanbul, including Belgrad Forest and rural city of Yalova, for any traces of the journalist’s remains.
Of the bloodthirsty killing, Saudi dissident Ali al-Ahmed told Express.co.uk: “This really is the true nature of the Saudi monarchy – it has has been able to hide and cover up this atrocity with the help of its western backers.
“This is the picture – the ISIS-style killing of a man who was their servant, to be honest – he was their mouthpiece for many years.
“He veered away from them and they decided to send a message and commit what was essentially a public execution.”