On Friday, a shooting took place at Pensacola Naval Air Station in the Florida panhandle, which was allegedly carried out by a Saudi national, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. The FBI is reportedly investigating the possibility that terrorism is behind the attack, which killed at least four people, including the shooter, and wounded at least eight others.
“The King said 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,” Trump wrote.
The president also addressed the attack and King Salman’s response when speaking to reporters on Friday.
“It’s a horrible thing that took place and we’re getting to the bottom of it,” Trump said, noting that the Saudi king expressed “sincere condolences” and asked him to “give his sympathies” to the loved ones of those killed and wounded from the tragedy.
Trump also addressed the attack with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” Trump said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation as the investigation is ongoing.”
DeSantis noted that the individual a reportedly part of the Saudi Air Force and was training in the U.S. Although it’s unclear if the attack was terrorism, DeSantis alluded to the possibility of Saudi Arabia compensating the victims of the shooting, suggesting that the kingdom needs to “make things better” for them.
“They’re going to owe a debt here,” he added.
The Florida governor also revealed that he spoke of possible retribution with Trump.
Gov. DeSantis says he spoke to President Trump on the NAS Pensacola shooting:— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) December 6, 2019
"The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims. I think they're gonna owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals." pic.twitter.com/GX4MSwPwLs
Politico reports that the shooting could place strain on U.S.-Saudi Arabia relations. Although the two countries are growing closer in the face of U.S. tension with Iran, Trump has taken heat for this closeness. Critics suggest that the president is going easy on Saudi Arabia for deciding not to punish the desert kingdom for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard went so far as to say that Trump is making America “Saudi Arabia’s b*tch.” The Hawaii representative made the comment after Trump suggested that the U.S. is ready to go to war with Iran under the terms laid out by Saudi Arabia.