During a rally in the US, President Donald Trump reiterated the importance of Saudi Arabian purchases from US companies.
Rabat – US President Donald Trump renewed his support for Saudi Arabia during a “Make America Great Again” event on Saturday, April 27.
During the rally, hosted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump indicated he would remain a firm supporter of the Saudi government, largely because of Riyadh’s continued purchases from US companies.
Oil and weaponry constitute the cornerstone of the trade relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. The US buys Saudi oil, and Saudi Arabia purchases American weaponry, with an additional understanding that the US would aid the kingdom in the event of a military attack.
“They have nothing but cash, right?” Trump said. “They buy a lot from us, $450 billion they bought.”
PolitiFact, a fact-checking website, has raised doubts about the $450 billion figure.
“You had people wanting to cut off Saudi Arabia … I don’t want to lose them,” Trump said.
An unconfirmed call
Later in the rally, Trump described a recent phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in which he demanded more from the oil-rich nation in exchange for the US’s continued military support.
“We lose $4.5 billion on a country to defend them, and they’re rich,” Trump said. “So, I called them. I said: listen, no good. They were in a state of shock because they’ve never got a call like this in 25 years, right.”
He went on: “I said we’re losing $4.5 billion every year, we can’t do this anymore. This is crazy. He [King Salman] got very upset, angry, said this is not fair. I said, of course, this is fair. He said we’ll give you $500 million more … I said I want more. We argued. So, they paid us more than $500 million for one phone call, it took me one call.”
Trump said King Salman then asked him why he was calling because “nobody had made such a call.”
“That’s because they were stupid,” Trump said.
The existence of the phone call between Trump and the Saudi king has not been confirmed, nor have Trump’s accounts of their alleged conversation.