During President Donald Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Friday, the president spoke about his positive relationship with Saudi Arabia, including how the country is paying to use American troops. Conservative Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who until recently was a Republican, responded to Trump’s remarks in a tweet, saying, “He sells troops.”
“Saudi Arabia is paying us for [our troops]. We have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “I said, listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”
He sells troops.
“We have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia—I said, listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1B in the bank.” pic.twitter.com/rc1f7heyCP
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 11, 2020
Trump continued, talking about U.S. troops as, essentially, mercenaries. “We are going to help them, but these rich countries have to pay for it. South Korea gave us $500 million… I said, ‘You gotta help us along. We have 32,000 soldiers in South Korea protecting you from North Korea. You’ve gotta pay.'”
Amash has been a vocal critic of the president and voted in favor of impeachment. He has made this criticism of Trump before. On Meet the Press in October, Amash said Trump’s use of the troops has broken his campaign promise to bring them home. “There are people who support the president, who believe things he says, but it’s pretty clear he’s not bringing home the troops. He’s just moving them to other parts of the Middle East,” Amash said.
He added, “He’s moving troops back into Iraq, he’s moving other troops into Saudi Arabia and using our forces almost as mercenaries, paid mercenaries who are going to come in, as long as Saudi Arabia pays us some money, it’s good to go.”