US President Donald Trump brought several pictures of American weapons to a meeting with visiting Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. He boasted of multibillion-dollar sales of arms to the kingdom.
Showing a sign to journalists at the meeting that read “12.5 billion in finalized sales to Saudi Arabia,” Trump boasted about all the money that US defense contractors would be getting for their products.
“Three billion dollars, 533… million dollars, 525… million dollars,” Trump said as he pointed at the pictures. Then he turned to the crown prince and added: “That’s peanuts for you!” The Saudi de facto ruler burst in laughter.
Trump criticized his predecessor, Barack Obama, for the poor state of relations between the US and Saudi Arabia under his tenure. He noted the economic impact of such policies on jobs and sales in America.
US weapons and other forms of military assistance allow Saudi Arabia to exercise hard power in the Middle East, including its intervention in neighboring Yemen. The four-year campaign, of which Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is a strong proponent, has resulted in over 10,000 civilian deaths in the poorest Arab nation. It has also created one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of the decade.
As Trump treated the Saudi dignitary to pictures of America’s best tools of destruction, US lawmakers voted by 55 to 44 to table a proposed law, which would end the nation’s contribution to the Yemeni war.
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