Trump slammed by top Republicans for his Saudi statement: ‘America First!’
NEW YORK (Nov 21, 2018): The United States intends to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia even though Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have known about the plan to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said President Donald Trump in a statement (read below) Tuesday.
“We’re not going to give up hundred of billions of dollars in orders and let Russia and China have them. So I’m not going to destroy the economy by being foolish,” he said.
“We’re with Saudi Arabia, we’re staying with Saudi Arabia,” he told reporters after the press release.
Trump was questioned at the White House about his decision not to further punish Saudi Arabia for the death of the US-based columnist for The Washington Post.
Trump said oil prices would ‘skyrocket’ if the US made a ‘terrible mistake’ to break with Saudi Arabia. Trump said he was only focused on ‘putting America first’.
Trump, earlier in a statement issued by the White House, indicated he had no intention of cancelling military contracts with Riyadh, saying, “if we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries.”
Later in the day at a news conference, Trump said he was “not going to destroy the economy of our country” over Khashoggi’s death by giving up arms deals to Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom has agreed to spend and invest $450 billion in the US, but the State Dept., according to CNN, said so far they have received $14.5 billion as part of the deal.
Trump said US intelligence agencies were still studying the evidence of how Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and who planned it.
“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 said.
Reacting to Trump’s statement, top Senate Republicans slammed the President for his statement backing Saudi Arabia in the wake of the death and dismemberment of amal Khashoggi.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, tweeted Tuesday, “I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in a series of tweets Tuesday, “One thing I learned during the Obama years is that when you look the other way regarding problems in the Middle East, it seldom works out.”
Graham said former President Barack Obama “chose to look the other way as Iran took increasingly provocative actions,” and said, “Each time it led to even worse Iranian behavior and created even larger problems for the future.”
“Likewise, it is not in our national security interests to look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder of Mr. Jamal #Khashoggi,” Graham continued.