In what could be defined as the strongest castigation of Donald Trump’s continuing affection for Saudi Arabia, Democratic representative from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard called the American president the Saudi nation’s “b**ch,” reports Newsweek. The is despite an assessment by the CIA implicating its de facto head, crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Gabbard’s terse, but unassailable characterization of Trump’s tendency to not criticize the Saudi royal family came after the White House had released a strange statement which boasted of the country’s business ties with the Wahhabi nation, without actually holding it culpable for the murder of Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a Saudi defector, had relocated to the United States in 2017 after falling out with the country’s leadership, and in October of this year, he was killed when he entered the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to collect paperwork for his wedding. Although Mohammed bin Salman has claimed denial of having any prior knowledge of Khashoggi’s killing, a subsequent investigation by the CIA concluded that he had been the one giving out orders for the execution, according to the Washington Post.
Tulsi Gabbard, who represents Hawaii in the House, said Trump’s response was not “America First” as the White House press statement had claimed.
“Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s b**ch is not ‘America First,'” Gabbard tweeted.
In the White House press statement, which failed to implicate Mohammed bin Salman, or indeed refused to acknowledge the conclusion reached by the country’s intelligence community, Trump seemed to exonerate the Saudi prince while continuing to boast about the fantastic relationship between the two countries.
“King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”
The statement also bashed other countries in the Middle East, including Iran, which Trump has been at odds with ever since he took over the presidency, while also praising Saudi Arabia for the economic benefits it was dropping on the United States. Celebrating the “record amount of money” poured in by the Wahhabi nation, which would “create hundreds of thousands of jobs” and lead to “tremendous economic development” for America, Trump’s statement has not only led to a severe backlash from Democratic politicians, but also from Republicans who reprimanded the president for eulogizing Saudi Arabia.