Trump on Khashoggi Murder and Saudi Human Rights Abuses: We ‘Take Their Money’
In an interview that aired on Sunday’s Meet the Press, President Donald Trump was asked by host Chuck Todd why the president turns a blind eye to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and human rights abuses, while overruling congress and allowing more arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
WATCH: President Trump tells Meet the Press: “Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of American product. That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs.… Take their money. Take their money, Chuck. ” #MTP #IfItsSunday pic.twitter.com/U3OxAwtZOJ
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 23, 2019
“They buy massive amounts, $150 billion worth of military equipment that, by the way, we use. We use that military equipment,” Trump said. “And unlike other countries that don’t have money and we have to subsidize everything. So Saudi Arabia is a big buyer of America product. That means something to me. It’s a big producer of jobs.”
Todd followed up, “It makes you overlook some of their bad behavior?”
Trump replied, “No, I don’t like anybody’s bad behavior.”
When Todd tried to pin Trump down on whether he would approve the United Nations’ request for the FBI to investigate the murder of Khashoggi, Trump went into a cat-and-mouse game while trying to avoid a simple direct question.
“I think it’s been heavily investigated,” the president answered.
“By who?” Todd asked.
“By everybody,” Trump answered.
“By the FBI? Todd asked.
Trump deflected once again, “I’ve seen so many different reports.”
The bad comedy routine continued. Todd again, “What about the FBI?”
Trump then went into a convoluted spiel with all kinds of false equivalencies about “other countries” like Iran who do not have the same type of big money military deals with the United States as the Saudis.
“I’m not like a fool that says, ‘We don’t want to do business with them,’” he said, concluding, “Take their money. Take their money, Chuck.”