President Donald Trump said he wouldn't downgrade U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia over the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi, regardless of whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered his death.

In an unconventional statement on Tuesday headlined "America First!" Trump said that Saudi Arabia serves as a bulwark against Iran and buys billions of dollars worth of U.S. weapons and other goods. That, he argued, outweighs the "horrible crime" perpetrated against Khashoggi, a writer for the Washington Post and a critic of the crown prince.

"The world is a very dangerous place!" Trump said in the 635-word statement, punctuated with eight exclamation points. "It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn't! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi."