Ex-Intel Slam Trump For Sucking Up To Saudis After Navy Shooting

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This week, President Donald Trump responded to a shooting at a Florida Navy base by essentially transitioning yet again into serving as a mouthpiece for the Saudi government. The attacker was an international student from the Saudi Air Force and killed three people, in addition to wounding eight more. Rather than stick to consolation for the victims or even just practical solutions to the problems that led to the shooting, Trump stuck to trying to reassure the world that the Saudi government was squeaky clean. Former intelligence community officials harshly criticized Trump for siding with a business partner above the basic national security interests of the United States.

Ned Price — who’s worked in the CIA and National Security Council — noted:

‘Imagine if the attacker had been Iranian, a refugee, or an undocumented immigrant — the response would be very different. We have a President who contours policy responses to his own interests. It’s always personal interests before national interests — even in times of tragedy.’

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Indeed — one of Trump’s first acts as president was enacting a massive arms deal with the Saudis that included the transfer of munitions that previous U.S. leaders had been concerned would be used against civilians. More recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expedited some arms sales to the Saudis by declaring them to be in the acute national security interest of the United States, although there’s not exactly evidence for this.

Separately, Trump has also enjoyed the patronage of the Saudis at his personal business. Right after he got elected, lobbyists spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Trump’s D.C. hotel.

Mieke Eoyang, who has worked on the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, added:

‘There may be snarky responses to Trump’s tweets about the call with King Salman. I will not make them. Let me just say: I hope the President has more concern and time for the loved ones of those killed than he did for the King.’

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Trump had tweeted that the Saudi king “just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack,” adding that the king claimed “that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.” At the time, Trump didn’t even bother to add “And also I support the victims” — nope, just Saudi propaganda all around.

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Former State Department official Aaron David Milner added:

‘If Trump wants to convey condolences from Saudi King Salman, fine. But you don’t do it on [a] day [when] Americans are killed -untethered from a message of ironclad assurances from King to provide any/all info on shooter. Otherwise Trump sounds like what he’s become- a Saudi apologist.’

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Indeed — this is far from the first time that Trump has made this move after tragedy. After Saudi agents brutally murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he also took the side of the Saudis.

Check out Twitter’s response below…

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