Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the White House he believed murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be a dangerous Islamist, according to reports.
The prince allegedly made the comments in a phone call after Mr Khashoggi disappeared from the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, but before Saudi Arabia admitted killing him.
Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations published in the New York Times and Washington Post.
Mr Khashoggi, a Saudi national who regularly criticized the Middle Eastern country’s rulers in the US press, vanished on October 2.
His body has not been found, but Turkish investigators, the US and Saudi Arabia have all now agreed he was murdered inside the consulate.
Saudi Arabia has denied its royal family had any involvement in the killing, and Prince Mohamed recently said “the crime was painful to all Saudis”.
He held a phone call with Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and National Security Advisor John Bolton on October 9.
During the conversation, he said Mr Khashoggi had been a member of the Muslim brotherhood, a controversial international Islamist organisation, the Washington Post reported.
He also reportedly urged the White House to preserve the US-Saudi alliance.
Mr Khashoggi’s family denied the claim he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and said he “he was not a dangerous person in any way possible”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday it would be a “handful more weeks” before the US had enough evidence to impose sanctions in response to the journalist’s killing.
He said the president had made it clear Washington would respond.
“It’ll take us probably a handful more weeks before we have enough evidence to actually put those sanctions in place, but I think we’ll be able to get there,” Mr Pompeo said.
“We’re going to find the fact pattern. The president said we will demand accountability for those who were involved in the commission of this heinous crime.”
Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence minister, Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud, said on Wednesday that the outcry in the United States demonizing Saudi Arabia over Mr Khashoggi’s killing threatened to disrupt strategic ties between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia said they will face justice in the kingdom. Ankara has repeatedly called for them to be extradited to Turkey for trial.
Turkey pressed Saudi authorities on Thursday to tell them the whereabouts of Mr Khashoggi’s body.