House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed that she will do everything to make sure that Donald Trump’s arms sale to Saudi Arabia is blocked, according to a report by The Hill.
Pelosi made the comments in an interview with Fareed Zakaria, saying that Trump’s continuous support of Saudi Arabia is detrimental to America’s long-term interests in the region.
“There will be a vote to remove any authority to make those sales to Saudi Arabia. This is something that we will fight, and we’ll have bipartisan support to fight.”
Although Pelosi faces an uphill task to stop Trump’s arms transfer to Saudi Arabia, she was buoyed by the Senate’s decision to block the transfer as 51 Senators voted against Trump’s veto, including four Republicans. Trump had finalized a deal worth $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, and despite clear opposition from the Congress, the president went ahead and used his veto power to make sure the transfer went through, which includes the sale of Patriot missiles, drones, precision-guided bombs, and other military support.
Congress still needs two-thirds of its members to block the transfer, but Pelosi vowed that the fight is not over yet. She suggested that Trump’s insistence on reaching a deal with Saudi Arabia is beneficial for him personally.
“Follow the money. What’s going on here?” she said.
“And there’s a question of who is financially benefiting from the nuclear part of the sales to Saudi Arabia. The case against Saudi Arabia — in terms of Yemen, in terms of Khashoggi, in terms of so much — that they should not be receiving these weapons sales is very strongly bipartisan in the Congress.”
Saudi Arabia has faced international condemnation over the last few months after the death of reporter Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi’s Turkish embassy. The CIA concluded that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave the order to carry out the execution, increasing pressure on Trump to withdraw from the arms deal signed with the Wahabbi nation. But the warnings have not stopped Trump from praising the crown prince or vetoing deals opposed by Congress. Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen and America’s support for more aggressive military intervention has been interpreted by foreign policy experts as a means to provoke Iran into a war, which is becoming more likely with Trump’s unabashed support of war proponents like National Security Advisor John Bolton within his administration.