President Trump claimed on Friday that Saudi Arabia has ‘already deposited $1billion in the bank’ so that the United States would continue to station troops in the desert kingdom.
‘Saudi Arabia is paying us for [our troops],’ Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
‘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 $1 billion in the bank.’
Trump claims Saudi Arabia has already deposited one billion dollars “in the bank” in exchange for US troops being sent. He then goes on to talk about South Korea paying $500 million for US troops defending them against North Korea. pic.twitter.com/Ocoo3D9Q8G
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 11, 2020
It is unclear what payment Trump was referring to. DailyMail.com has reached out to the White House for comment.
Calls to the Pentagon went unanswered on Sunday.
House Rep. Justin Amash, the Michigan congressman who left the Republican Party after he came out in opposition to Trump, slammed the president on Saturday in response to his comments on Fox News.
‘He sells troops,’ the independent Amash tweeted.
Trump told Ingraham on Friday that countries hosting American bases are paying the U.S. treasury, though these claims are not verified.
‘We are going to help them, but these rich countries have to pay for it,’ Trump said.
‘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 accused Trump of reneging on his campaign pledge to get American soldiers out of the Middle East.
Last week, Trump ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general who died in a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad.
Iran responded with ballistic missiles at an Iraqi air base housing U.S. soldiers. There were no injuries.
In response to the escalating tensions with Iran, the Trump administration has deployed thousands of additional soldiers to the region.
‘There are people who support the president, who believe things he says, but it’s pretty clear he’s not bringing home the troops,’ Amash told NBC News back in October.
‘He’s just moving them to other parts of the Middle East.’
Amash 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.’
In October, Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince approved the deployment of additional U.S. troops and equipment, after an attack the previous month on the kingdom’s oil facilities.
The United States announced a deployment of about 3,000 troops to the Gulf state, including fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing and air defense personnel, amid heightened tensions with Saudi’s arch-rival Iran.
Trump said the Saudis had agreed to pay for the deployment.
Earlier this month, the U.S. sent nearly 3,000 additional troops to the Middle East from the 82nd Airborne Division as a precaution amid rising threats to American forces in the region.
The U.S. has already dispatched about 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East since May.
By Ariel Zilber
First published by ICH
The 21st Century