On Saturday, President Trump bragged about the “tremendous” meeting that he had with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. He said in his first public comments:
‘That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.’
Among the “tremendous” deals that Trump made was a military arms deal worth $110 billion immediately and $350 billion over the next 10 years. That deal also includes a pledge to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia.
Many have questioned the deal, including liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, who commented on it via Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
‘Trump promises jobs for Americans to build weapons for Saudi regime that enabled 9/11 murderers and blocked FBI investigation of 9/11 crimes.’
Trump promises jobs for Americans to build weapons for Saudi regime that enabled 9/11 murderers and blocked FBI investigation of 9/11 crimes
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) May 20, 2017
Moore made a good point with his remark, and the nature of Trump’s willingness to make deals with Saudi leaders gets even more questionable when one considers how many business interests the president has in that country.
As The Washington Post pointed out in November, Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia during his campaign. He also has praised the country repeatedly during rallies and interviews. For example, during a rally on August 21, the same day he created four of the eight companies tied to a hotel project, he said about Saudi Arabia:
‘Saudi Arabia — and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.’
Trump also said during a January interview with Bill O’Reilly that he would want to “help” and “protect” Saudi Arabia.
The praise Trump has heaped upon Saudi Arabia, coupled with the fact that he has still yet to fully divest himself from his businesses, is enough to make one question whether or not he had additional motives for the decisions made during Saturday’s meeting.
This weekend’s trip to Saudi Arabia was the president’s first international trip since taking office in January. Saudi Arabia was his first stop in a multi-country tour; he will follow this visit with trips to Israel, the Vatican, Sicily, and Belgium.
Featured image via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images.