A Saudi contribution of $100 million to U.S.-backed stabilization efforts in Syria arrived in American accounts Tuesday, just as State Mike Pompeo touched down in Riyadh to discuss the missing Saudi journalist, an anonymous U.S. official told The New York Times.
The source said the timing of the two events is no accident. He said Saudi Arabia originally pledged its contribution in August, and U.S. officials were expecting to receive it by the fall, FOX NEWS reports.
The United States was taking a tough stance on Saudi and the disappearance of the American Citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, as well as President Trump stating we could levy heavy sanctions over this. President Trump has also been very careful not to disturb the military weapons deals that the U.S. has with Saudi Arabia. Is this now all about money and oil?
Not since July’s summit in Helsinki, where Trump blamed both countries for the state of U.S.-Russia relations (“I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish”) and appeared to accept Vladimir Putin’s denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 election (“I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today”) has a U.S. president failed to stand up for America’s values — and against a crime either committed on U.S. soil or involving an American resident.
TRUMP SAYS HE HAS NO FINANCIAL INTERESTS IN SAUDI ARABIA. THE HISTORICAL RECORD SAYS OTHERWISE
But according to what NBC is reporting, here’s what Trump said a July 2015 rally, per CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski: “I like the Saudis; they are very nice. I make a lot of money with them. They buy all sorts of my stuff — all kinds of toys from Trump. They pay me millions and hundreds of millions.”
Yesterday, in response to accusations that Trump has been easy on Saudi Arabia due to his past business ties with the Saudis, the president tweeted: “For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”
And like Helsinki — and unlike the Kavanaugh nomination — Trump’s defense of Saudi Arabia has divided Republicans. “I’m gonna sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News yesterday. “You know, we deal with bad people all the time, but this is in our face. I feel personally offended. They have nothing but contempt for us.” NBC News
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Turkey’s President and Foreign Minister on Wednesday to discuss the disappearance of a Saudi journalist as pressure mounted on the kingdom to provide answers following Turkish allegations he was killed.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and a partner in U.S. efforts to combat Iranian influence in the region, has said it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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