“We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they’re rich? And I love the King, King Salman. But I said ‘King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military,” Trump said at a rally in Mississippi Tuesday, October 2.
The US president did not clarify when he spoke to the Saudi King.
At the UN General Assembly in September, Trump criticized the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the high price of oil. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is considered the leader of the bloc.
According to Al Jazeera, the US president talked with King Salman on the phone about efforts to “maintain supplies to ensure oil market stability and global economic growth.”
The Qatari news outlet also reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman flew to Kuwait to discuss “increasing oil production” with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabar.
In March, Trump met the Saudi crown prince in Washington, D.C.
In their press conference, Trump touted deals Saudi Arabia signed with the US on missile defense planes and tanks.
Trump said one deal was worth $520 million and told the crown prince, “That is peanuts for you.”
He also reaffirmed his determination to benefit from Saudi Arabia’s wealth.
“Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy nation, and they’re going to give the United States some of that wealth, hopefully in the form of jobs, in the form of the purchase of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world.”