If we're not talking about oil, guns, and money, I don't want to hear it:
Tuesday’s message could become something of a blueprint for foreign leaders — a guide to how they might increase their standing in the eyes of the American president as well as how far they can go in crushing domestic critics without raising American ire.
It was also a revealing meditation on the role that Mr. Trump believes facts should play in political decision-making. The C.I.A. concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia had ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, American officials said last week. But on Tuesday, the president dismissed not only that assessment but also the very process of seeking the truth, implying that it did not really matter anyway. (“Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Mr. Trump wrote of Prince Mohammed.)
It's not just the Khashoggi killing that such irresponsible behavior affects; those 85,000 dead Yemeni children will likely be joined by tens of thousands more, because Trump will allow Saudi Arabia to continue with business as usual in that war-torn country. And what may be behind that unflinching support is that Saudi Arabia has only spent a fraction of the money on arms deals that Trump has been bragging about, and the more bombs they drop on Yemen, the more $$$$ may be forthcoming:
The president has cited the importance of the nations' relationship, pushing back on potentially slapping retaliatory sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's fate. Saudi Arabia's oil-rich monarchy is one of America's most crucial strategic partners in the Middle East and a significant patron of U.S. defense companies.
"I know [senators are] talking about different kinds of sanctions, but [Saudi Arabia is] spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs," Trump said Thursday. "I don't like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States."
While Washington has several arms agreements with Riyadh, it is unclear where the $110 billion figure comes from, aside from a potential wish list of future deals.
Presently, Saudi Arabia has put forward approximately $14.5 billion in purchases in the form of letters of offer and acceptance or LOAs, a Pentagon official told CNN.
What's more, the State Department has announced only six contracts worth a combined total of $4 billion since Trump's visit last year to Saudi Arabia.
So basically, Saudi Arabia lied to Trump about that $110 Billion last year, and even though Trump has ample evidence that number is questionable, he's still sticking to it. In other words, he's passing the lie along, to us.
And he's also engaging in fear-mongering over a potential soft embargo of Saudi oil. From the OP:
Hours after the White House released Mr. Trump’s statement, he added during a lengthy news conference on the South Lawn that Saudi Arabia’s stranglehold on global oil prices gave the kingdom enormous leverage over his decisions. Push Prince Mohammed too far, he suggested, and Saudi Arabia could cut oil production — leading to oil prices of $150 a barrel.
The president’s critics on Capitol Hill reacted angrily, saying that Mr. Trump ceded American authority on human rights issues to get more arms deals for defense companies.
“I’m pretty sure this statement is Saudi Arabia First, not America First,” Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote on Twitter.
It's neither "Saudi Arabia First" nor "America First." With Trump it's always been "Rich People First." That's why he can barely tolerate leaders like Angela Merkel, whose father was a rural pastor. Merkel had no silver spoon, she studied and worked her ass off to get where she is, while the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has probably only explored about 1/3 of the rooms in all his palaces. That's the type of person Trump admires, not somebody who actually earned their prestige.