Why Did Trump Defend Saudi Prince Bin Salman? Personal Business Ties

Outrage in the United States and in much of the world is mounting in the aftermath of the apparent murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi Arabian government. Grisly details have been slowly trickling out, and though many of them remain unconfirmed, so far it seems clear that several weeks ago Khashoggi entered the Saudi embassy in Turkey and did not leave alive.

In the United States, many people’s shock over Khashoggi’s disappearance has resulted in a fierce outcry for Saudi Arabia to suffer some — any — repercussions. Meanwhile, President Trump’s response has been, at best, tepid. In his initial response, the president stated that he did not see this incident as warranting risking an arms deal worth over $100 billion. The reality, however, is that this deal has yet to come to fruition, and experts say it is not likely to be worth nearly as much as Trump claims.

Trump has since gone on to accuse the media of jumping to conclusions and insisting that, after speaking with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, he has doubts about Saudi culpability.

More recently, though, Trump has shifted gears, now admitting that “obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies” coming from Saudi Arabia. Regardless, Trump refuses to offer Bin Salman anything other than praise.

Some might find Trump’s readiness to leap to Bin Salman’s defense a bit surprising. However, this reaction comes out of the president’s inherent desire to protect his own self interests. Trump and his family have surprisingly deep connections not just with the crown prince, but with Saudi royal family money in general.

Trump’s connections to the Saudi royal family go back to at least 1991. Researchers at Fox News, of all places, recently tweeted a brief summary of these dealings:

It’s worth noting that Donald Trump announced that he would be shuttering a handful of business ventures connected to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East following his presidential victory in 2016. So while Trump’s personal business ties to Saudi Arabia at present are not wholly clear, such ties between his family and the Saudi royal family remain far murkier.

Jared Kushner, presidential adviser and Trump’s son-in-law, took great steps to form a relationship with Bin Salman. When Kushner still had access to the president’s daily intelligence report — before losing that privilege in February — he became well versed in the power struggles happening within the Saudi royal family.

With this knowledge, Kushner reached out to Bin Salman, eventually leading to an impromptu one-on-one meeting between both men in Riyadh. It is believed that Kushner disclosed the names of Saudis who opposed Bin Salman’s move to consolidate power, knowledge presumably gained from his access to U.S. intelligence reports. Not long after, a number of Saudi royal family members were detained for an extended period by Bin Salman.

Following his meeting with Kushner, Mohammed bin Salman, while meeting with the United Arab Emirates crown prince, bragged that Trump’s son-in-law was “in his pocket.”

Much more recently, it has come to light that Kushner and the Saudi crown prince had been in personal contact off-the-record via the encrypted messaging app WhatsApp.

If this were any other administration, this would be an enormous international scandal — remember the outrage around Hillary Clinton’s missing emails? However, when it comes to Trump and his family, they are apparently fully welcome to operate as they see fit — even at the expense of national security.

What do the Trumps have to gain by bending over backwards to keep Bin Salman in their good graces? It certainly isn’t out of political self-preservation — as the outcry here in the United States flatly shows.

It’s no secret that Obama and Saudi Arabia had a less than amicable relationship by the end of his second presidential term. A look at how the Saudis tripled the money spent on U.S. lobbying in 2017 — compared to Obama’s last year — reflects an undeniable relationship between Trump and the Saudi royal family.

Take Action!

Though it has become a cliché, that does not make it less truthful: It’s time to follow the money — specifically the money flowing between the Saudi royal family and the Trump family.

In the interest of ensuring a transparent government, a federal investigation must look at these ties and determine if, and to what extent, they’re influencing the White House and foreign policy decisions.

Add your name to this Care2 petition to all on the U.S. Department of Justice to remove all doubts about a conflict of interest within the Trump administration!

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: The White House/Flickr

53 comments

Dave fleming
Past Member 3 months ago

Signed.

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Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Stephen Brian
Stephen Brian3 months ago

I thought it was the classic "He's a tyrant, but he's our tyrant." The guy has been cracking down on terrorist recruitment in the country that provides roughly half of the world's non-regional jihadists. He cemented his government's opposition to them through overtures with Israel. Of course, it would be nice to have a non-tyrant in Saudi Arabia. He could be removed and another prince could take over, but from what I understand, the other 80 or so in line for power are as bad or worse, and they might not be "our tyrants".

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Leo C
Leo C3 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Pam Bruce
Pam Bruce3 months ago

Trump is only interested in making money, lots of money for his friends, family and himself. He doesn't give a damn about anything else.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson3 months ago

Thank you.

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Colin Clauscen
Colin C3 months ago

In a few weeks time when the Khashoggi murder has dropped from the media spotlite and "The Caravan" or something else has captured the public attention it will just be forgotten.

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Martin H
Martin H3 months ago

a difficult situation here.

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Marija M
Marija M3 months ago

Sick and tired of Trump...why is he so important for Care2?? $$$$????

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Clare O
Clare O3 months ago

Money talks

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