Despite indicating that his administration may attack Iran over a drone strike on Saudi oil facilities by Houthi rebels, President Trump once ridiculed the idea of offering Saudi Arabia U.S. protection without Riyadh paying for it.
Following Saturday’s drone strike, which took out 5% of the world’s oil supply, Trump tweeted that the White House was “waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed.”
Despite Tehran’s denial, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack.
Trump’s willingness to use U.S. forces to defend the interests of Saudi Arabia is at odds with his position in the run up to his presidential campaign, when he repeatedly questioned why America should be defending Saudi Arabia in return for nothing.
“We are getting ready to protect Saudi Arabia against Iran & others-sending ships. How much are they going to pay us toward this protection,” he tweeted in April 2015.
We are getting ready to protect Saudi Arabia against Iran & others-sending ships. How much are they going to pay us toward this protection.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2015
In another tweet two months later, Trump remarked, “Saudi Arabia should be paying the United States many billions of dollars for our defense of them. Without us, gone!”
Saudi Arabia should be paying the United States many billions of dollars for our defense of them. Without us, gone! @AlWaleedbinT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2015
Back in 2014, Trump also accused Saudi Arabia of funding ISIS.
"@kevinb____: @realDonaldTrump Saudi Arabia is already paying ISIS"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2014
Trump campaigned on a platform of not getting America entangled in more pointless, costly Middle Eastern quagmires.
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