US President Donald Trump has said the CIA did not conclude that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was killed on 2 October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Officials told US media such an operation would have needed the prince’s approval. But Saudi Arabia maintains it was a “rogue operation”.
“They didn’t conclude,” Mr Trump said when asked about the CIA’s reported evaluation by reporters in Florida.
His comments on Thursday came as the Saudi crown prince began a regional tour of the Middle East, starting with the United Arab Emirates – his first official trip abroad since Khashoggi was killed.
The crown prince is also expected to participate in a G20 meeting of world leaders in Buenos Aires at the end of the month that will be attended by leaders from the US, Turkey and a number of European countries.