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Trump thanks Saudi Arabia for low oil prices amid backlash over Khashoggi response

Click to play video: 'Trump continues praise for Saudi Arabia despite backlash over Khashoggi response' Trump continues praise for Saudi Arabia despite backlash over Khashoggi response
WATCH: President Donald Trump continued to pour on praise for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, thanking them for lower oil prices, a day after he stood by the kingdom despite mounting evidence their Crown Prince ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi – Nov 21, 2018

Amid anger at his lack of punishment towards Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. President Donald Trump has doubled down and thanked the country for a different issue.

“Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” Trump wrote.

Saudi Arabia, along with Russia and the U.S. have stepped up oil production in light of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The praise comes one day after Trump refused to commit to a stance on whether Saudi Prince Mohammed knew about the killing of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Saudi critic who was lured to the Saudi embassy in Turkey and brutally murdered.

“Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump wrote in a letter.

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READ MORE: ‘Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!’: Trump on Saudi prince’s role in Khashoggi murder

He added that “we may never know” all the facts about the murder, but America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia remains in place.

The CIA believes Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by the crown prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler widely known by his initials MbS, sources familiar with the matter have said.

WATCH: Saudi FM on Khashoggi: ‘We as a government had nothing to do with it’

Click to play video: 'Saudi FM on Khashoggi: ‘We as a government had nothing to do with it’' Saudi FM on Khashoggi: ‘We as a government had nothing to do with it’
Saudi FM on Khashoggi: ‘We as a government had nothing to do with it’ – Nov 21, 2018

He also noted the U.S.’s business deals with Saudi Arabia, and the country’s role in fighting terrorism.

WATCH: Trump reiterates ‘maybe he did, maybe he didn’t’ statement on if Saudi Arabia prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing

Click to play video: 'Trump reiterates ‘maybe he did, maybe he didn’t’ statement on if Saudi Arabia prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing' Trump reiterates ‘maybe he did, maybe he didn’t’ statement on if Saudi Arabia prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing
Trump reiterates ‘maybe he did, maybe he didn’t’ statement on if Saudi Arabia prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing – Nov 20, 2018

Critics decried Trump’s letter, with some even calling it comical.

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“Yesterday’s statement is a comic statement,” the president of Turkey’s ruling party Numan Kirtulmus said.

“It is not possible for an intelligence agency such as the CIA, which even knows the colour of the fur on the cat walking around the Saudi consulate’s garden … to not know who gave this order,” he said. “This is not credible either for US public opinion or the world public opinion.”

WATCH: Trump says keeping relationship with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi case is about ‘America First’

Click to play video: 'Trump says keeping relationship with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi case is about ‘America First’' Trump says keeping relationship with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi case is about ‘America First’
Trump says keeping relationship with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi case is about ‘America First’ – Nov 20, 2018

A number of U.S. lawmakers, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, pushed back sharply on his assessment.

Republican congressperson Lindsey Graham said it was “not in our national security interests to look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi.”

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WATCH: U.S. lawmakers slam Trump’s Saudi defense

Click to play video: 'U.S. lawmakers slam Trump’s Saudi defense' U.S. lawmakers slam Trump’s Saudi defense
U.S. lawmakers slam Trump’s Saudi defense – Nov 21, 2018

Sen. Rand Paul, another Republican, called the move a “sign of weakness” and a “mistake.”

“It’s a sign of weakness not to stand up to Saudi Arabia,” Paul said. “Sometimes when you have two evils, maybe you don’t support either side.”

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Despite Trump’s declaration that the relationship between U.S. and Saudi Arabia will remain unchanged, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday the Khashoggi case is not closed.

“Canada very much does not consider the Khashoggi affair to be closed,” Freeland said at an Ottawa press Tuesday.

WATCH: Freeland says Khashoggi affair is not ‘closed’ despite U.S. response

Click to play video: 'Freeland says Khashoggi affair is not ‘closed’ despite U.S. response' Freeland says Khashoggi affair is not ‘closed’ despite U.S. response
Freeland says Khashoggi affair is not ‘closed’ despite U.S. response – Nov 20, 2018

— with files from Global News’ Maham Abedi and Reuters

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