President Trump said Tuesday that Saudi officials had the "worst coverup ever" in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside a consulate in Turkey but said he would "leave it up to Congress" on punishing Riyadh for its behavior.
Trump has repeatedly declined to say if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind or aware of the killing as many USA officials and foreign governments have concluded, in part because numerous crown prince's associates were involved in the killing.
The problem is that Turkish officials and commentators have signalled such a crime - allegedly carried out by a hit-squad of 15 men - could only have taken place with the knowledge of a senior member of the Saudi royal family such as Prince Mohammed.
Trump told The Wall Street Journal, "Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage".
He made the comment at the Future Investment Initiative, an annual summit of global investors in Riyadh.
He said Turkey had strong evidence Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and "savage" murder at the consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
A spokesman for its leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Khashoggi's killing was "a shocking act by a dictatorial regime involved in multiple human rights abuses at home and abroad".
Mr Erdogan's address coincided with the start of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia that has been overshadowed by the Khashoggi case. "I have people in Turkey and I have people in Saudi Arabia and other places, and they're all coming back as we speak, they're heading back", he said.
May added that she will continue to pile diplomatic pressure on Saudi leaders to complete a swift and transparent investigation, and would be speaking to Saudi King Salman later Wednesday.
An adviser to Turkey's president said Prince Mohammed had "blood on his hands" over Khashoggi, the bluntest language yet from someone linked to Tayyip Erdogan.
King Salman, 82, has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to the 33-year-old crown prince.
Three weeks since Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen living in self-imposed exile, disappeared after walking into the consulate to get some marriage documents the crisis shows no signs of abating.
The Saudi government has blamed the murder on rogue agents, but the Turkish president said this was a "political murder" by Saudi intelligence officers and officials.
Erdogan never mentioned Mohammed bin Salman in his speech and did not play an audio of the killing that news accounts have cited.