5 Blatant Hypocrisies From Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as president has proven to be an exercise in hypocrisy. For a man who’s had a lot of terrible things to say about Saudi Arabia and the way that previous U.S. leaders have handled diplomatic relations with the country, he sure doesn’t seem to mind contradicting his own previous stances during his own travel.

Here are five of the more egregious examples:

1. First Ladies and Head Scarves

First Lady Melania Trump did not don a headscarf during her visit with Saudi officials, a move that some on the right applauded for her refusal to go along with Islamic customs.

However, the internet couldn’t help but shake their heads at her husband’s hypocrisy. Just two years before, Donald Trump tweeted, “Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted.We have enuf enemies”

Presumably, Trump knows a good deal about insulting Islam, but not wearing a headscarf wasn’t a slight from either Melania or Michelle Obama. As USA Today explains, Saudi Arabia doesn’t require non-Muslim, western women to cover their heads, nor is such a decision even considered disrespectful.

2. A Questionable Arms Deal

Despite accusing Saudi Arabia of perpetrating the 9/11 attacks against America, Trump apparently has decided to allow Jared Kushner to negotiate a $380 billion (over 10 years) weapons deal with the country behind closed doors.

Selling arms to a country known for human rights abuses is sketchy if not downright irresponsible. Amnesty International has already condemned this deal, asking the U.S. to back out because Saudi Arabia has already been breaking international law by killing Yemeni civilians in unsanctioned airstrikes.

Human rights attorneys are worried that by offering weapons to Saudi Arabia with knowledge of these wars crimes, the U.S. could feasibly be considered liable and complicit for providing the country additional weapons.

3. Taking “Charitable” Money

Saudi Arabia doesn’t exactly have a good reputation for championing women’s rights, but the country is either trying to change that or simply curry favor with the current U.S. presidential administration. During the Trumps’ visit to the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates collectively pledged to contribute $100 million toward a fund that promotes entrepreneurship for women, a project backed by Ivanka Trump.

While it’s great to see these nations put money toward expanding opportunities for women in this area of the world, there is certainly an element of hypocrisy to it. During his presidential campaign, Trump specifically blasted Hillary Clinton because the Clinton Foundation had accepted millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia.

“These are people that kill women and treat women horribly, and yet you take their money,” he said to Clinton in a debate seven months ago.

4. Dealing With Exhaustion

When Trump strayed from his prepared speech to refer to “Islamic extremism” (rather than “Islamist extremism” thereby pinning violence on the entire religion rather than individuals of that faith) his staff blamed the error on Trump being “exhausted.”

If the Trump team is to be believed, just days into his first international trip, Trump is already too tired to function accurately.

The problem, of course, is that Trump spent much of his campaign berating Clinton for lacking the stamina to carry out presidential duties. As NYMag points out, he also previously tweeted that Obama was frequently too “exhausted” to do his job well.

So far, Trump has demonstrated that he’s the one suffering worst from exhaustion. Prior to the Saudi Arabia trip, who can forget when he had an unnecessarily combative call with an Australian ally? Then, too, his staffers blamed Trump’s lack of tact on “fatigue” despite it being a daytime phone call.

5. Complimenting Islam

During his trip, Trump spent a lot of time praising Islam, going so far as to call it “one of the world’s greatest faith.” This comment provoked a lot of criticism from Trump’s far right supporters who do not view Islam positively.

While I have no sympathy for the bigots who wanted the president to spout more hate speech on this trip, it’s hard not to at least sort of understand where these critics are coming from, as this is absolutely an about-face from the usual Trump rhetoric to which they are accustomed.

Remember, this is the same president who campaigned on a plan to completely ban Muslims from entering the United States, and then even tried to implement the ban, despite it seeming unconstitutional. It makes sense that his supporters who bought into the idea that Muslims are the enemy are now confused by Trump’s kinder words.

Go figure that Trump would change his tune when visiting an Islamic (mandatory by law) nation. It just goes to show that Trump is willing to say one thing when he’s trying to drum up votes from a prejudiced population, and then speak quite the opposite when working out diplomatic relations.

Photo credit: White House/public domain

82 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for posting.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

Trump will never get any approval in some arenas.

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Brian F
Brian F1 years ago

Karen When Hillary takes 13 million, Diane Feinstein takes 2.1 million, and Claire McCaskill takes $800,000 from our criminal healthcare industry, and refuses to support single payer universal healthcare, which we badly need in this country, and 60% support, that's a crime. Add the WikiLeaks emails that show Hillary had close ties to Wall Street for the 21 million they paid her in speeches, and the fact that the Democrats unfairly favored Hillary from the start, and cheated Bernie Sanders our of his primary, and lied about the Nevada convention, by falsely claiming Bernie Sanders supporters threw chairs, and their is more than enough proof that Hillary is a crook and a liar, like most of the corporate democrats who refuse to support progressive issues that we desperately need in this country like single payer universal healthcare, free colleges, a $15.00 an hour minimum wage, and marijuana legalization. The DNC is being sued for cheating Bernie Sanders out of his primary. I'm not defending this crook and liar Trump, in any way, but anyone with an once of intelligence knows hat the democrats are corporate owned like the republicans, and just as corrupt.

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william Miller
william Miller1 years ago

thanks

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Karen Swenson
Karen S1 years ago

@Brian F----Oh for the Love of Thor---will you break that record you keep playing over and over and over again!!!! If the hundreds of investigations on Hillary haven't been able to find any corruption, if even the Orange Turd dropped his "LOCK HER UP" and didn't appoint another investigation into Hillary, that should tell anyone with one ounce of intelligence THERE IS NOTHING THERE!

@Dan Blossfeld--People have always claimed to be disgusted with candidates from both parties. They want someone who just doesn't exist. Especially "White Whining men" They are used to having it all, being princes of the kingdom, chosen over everyone else and now that they are deemed "NOT SPECIAL AND ANOINTED BY THEIR GOD" they just can't take it. The proof of that is what they voted for---a whining spoiled brat, who is used to getting his own way always, vulgar, disgusting racists, misogynistic, big Baby.

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Brian F
Brian F1 years ago

Karen S I guess according to you, Trump is the only one who does anything wrong. Diane Feinstein takes 2.1 million from our criminal healthcare industry, and refuses to support single payer universal healthcare, that we badly need in this country, and most people support, but the democrats never do anything wrong. It's people like you who voted for your queen corruption Hillary, instead of supporting Bernie Sanders, who are the reason why we have this fraud Trump.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld1 years ago

Karen,
Just check out any political site. Whatever their own party suggests is a grand idea, while their opponent's plans are a disaster. Even if they propose similar plans. Neither party will say anything bad about their own, regardless of how deplorable. They will make some claim that their opposition is lying or planting evidence. No wonder the American people are so disgusted with the two parties.

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Karen Swenson
Karen S1 years ago

Joanna M---If you want hypocrisy check out any Republican site---Trump could strangle a kitten on live TV, kick an old lady and shove her down the stairs and kill someone,(he said himself) preferably a poor person, Muslim or Mexican....and Republicans would Alternative Fact the HELL out of it...I bet Johanna M you have NEVER said or given credit to anything Obama ever did. Hillary has been vilified, lied about, investigated since she was practically 2yrs old and unless she is burned at the stake you people will NEVER be satisfied!

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Joanna M
Joanna M1 years ago

If you want to see hypocrisy, check out Care2 - there has NEVER been a single negative article about Hillary Clinton. According to Care2, it's like there was no email investigation, no questionable donations to the Clinton Foundation, nothing whatsoever. If you're going to be so biased, stay away from politics and stick to health and environment issues.

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Joanna M
Joanna M1 years ago

So if Trump says Islam is good, that's wrong...and if he were to say Islam is evil, I'm sure you'd blast him too, saying it's just a few people and not most, etc etc.

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