U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is headed to Saudi Arabia amid international backlash over the killing of one of the country's outspoken journalists.
Mnuchin said on Sunday he plans to travel to the capital this week for meetings about "combating terrorist financing" in Iran. The announcement follows an earlier one by Mnuchin saying he won't attend a high-profile Saudi economic summit.
Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early this month. The Saudi government admitted Friday that he was killed in the consulate and said 18 of its citizens have been arrested. The government's details surrounding his death, however, have faced global skepticism and have been called a cover-up by some.
Critics of President Trump's response to the situation say he's valuing an economic relationship with Saudi Arabia over human rights. Trump says he believes the country's defense is credible.
In defense of his decision to travel to Saudi Arabia, Mnuchin emphasized the relationship between the two countries, calling it "longstanding" and saying, "We will continue in that relationship while we also simultaneously get to the bottom of what the facts are about the Khashoggi situation."