"People fear them. You challenge them, you might end up in prison, and that has happened", he said.
Saudi Arabia had been a "great ally in the Middle East", but that "what happened is unacceptable", he added.
Turkish authorities also denied Friday they have shared with USA officials an audio recording of the torture and killing of Khashoggi.
After 18 days in which it insisted it had no involvement in the journalist's disappearance, Riyadh asserted that Khashoggi died as a result of the altercation after he had come to the consulate to obtain paperwork needed for his forthcoming wedding.
South Caroline senator Lindsey Graham, a republic, said: "To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement".
It says investigations are under way, and so far 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested.
While he is still suggesting some sanctions against the regime might be possible, according to the New York Times, Trump also appears satisfied with the Saudis' explanation.
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October 19: In an announcement early Saturday, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor says preliminary investigations show an "altercation" and "fistfight" led to Khashoggi's death shortly after he arrived at the consulate.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 16, 2018. The UK Foreign Office said it was considering its next steps after hearing the report. Nobody should ever doubt it. "We are not accusing anyone in advance but we don't accept anything to remain covered [up]". Trump dispatched Pompeo earlier in the week to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to speak to officials about the case.
After two weeks of denials, the Saudi Arabian government has admitted Mr Khashoggi died in the consulate, though it has not said what happened to his body.
Turan Kislakci, president of the Turkish Arab Media Association, said Khashoggi was "slaughtered by bloody murderers" and that his group wants "true justice" for its slain colleague.
Turkish police gather outside the residence of the Saudi consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi to conduct a search after the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, Oct. 17, 2018.
In a tweet on Saturday, he thanked the king and crown prince for the "big confidence" they had in him.Asiri joined the Saudi military in 2002, according to Saudi media reports, serving as spokesman for a coalition backing Yemen's ousted president after Prince Mohammed took Saudi Arabia into that country's civil war in 2015. "It's hard to find this latest "explanation" credible".
MBS, as he is known, has a huge following amongst young patriotic Saudis who see him as a visionary reformer.
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How have Saudi's Western allies reacted?
Germany has joined other nations in calling for a credible investigation into Khashoggi's death.
Merkel and Maas said that "those responsible must be held to account".
"The Kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if the Trump Administration will not take the lead, Congress must", Schiff said.
Earlier this week he warned of "very severe" consequences if Saudi Arabia was proved to have killed the journalist.
But Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz tweeted that her heart was "full of sorrow" over the confirmation of his death.
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