USA intelligence intercepted communications between Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture journalist Jamal Khashoggi prior to his disappearance last week in Turkey in a case now roiling global investigators and threatening to damage relations between Washington and Riyadh.
"Nobody knows what happened", Trump said, adding, "We want to get to the bottom of it".
Jamal Khashoggi is featured on a poster during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate on October 8, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey.
"I think that would be hurting us", he said.
A bipartisan group of US senators is forcing the Trump administration to investigate the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, triggering a human rights probe that could result in sanctions against Saudi officials and entities.
Nauert said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US diplomats have been engaged on the issue and that Trump himself - he said Tuesday he "knows nothing" about what happened to Khashoggi - intends to speak to the Saudis.
Turan Kislakci, Khashoggi's friend, said on October 7 that officials told him to "make your funeral preparations" as the Washington Post contributor "was killed" at the Saudi Consulate.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said if Saudi Arabia had lured a USA resident into a consulate and killed him, "it's time for the United States to rethink our military, political and economic relationship with Saudi Arabia".
In a tweet on Tuesday, Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to both Republican and Democratic administrations, said that "If Saudis were involved in Jamal's death or disappearance, that's obviously on them".
Turkish officials say they fear Saudi Arabia killed and dismembered Khashoggi, without offering evidence explaining why they believe that.
The Washington Post reported that USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi plans to kidnap Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fled into exile a year ago.
The issue threatened the strong relationship the Trump administration has constructed with Mohammed Bin Salman.
Jamal Khashoggi has been missing since visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Oct. 2.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman told Bloomberg News in an interview last week that Khashoggi had left the consulate shortly after entering it last week and that he was ready to let Turkey search the building.
Pence's comments come as Turkey accused Saudi Arabia of sending a 15 person team to assassinate the journalist.
Turkish media have identified 15 Saudis, including some officials, who made a mysterious one-day trip from Riyadh to Istanbul the day Khashoggi vanished at the consulate.
The prominent Saudi journalist and critic of the regime has been missing for more than a week after going to the Saudi consulate general in Istanbul to obtain wedding papers. We have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before.
Saudi Arabia remained silent as the images, though not offering definitive proof about Khashoggi's fate, played across television networks in Turkey and around the world.
He continued: "Part of that is what we're doing with our defence systems and everybody's wanting them".