Trump issues statement defending Saudi Arabia, despite Khashoggi killing

Office of the Press Secretary
November 20, 2018

Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Standing with Saudi Arabia
America First!
The world is a very dangerous place!
The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi
Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraqas fragile attempt at democracy, supporting
the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who
has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have
killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran
states openly, and with great force, aDeath to America!a and aDeath to Israel!a Iran is
considered athe worldas leading sponsor of terror.a
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians
would agree to leave. They would immediately provide desperately needed humanitarian
assistance. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars in leading
the fight against Radical Islamic Terrorism.
After my heavily negotiated trip to Saudi Arabia last year, the Kingdom agreed to spend
and invest $450 billion in the United States. This is a record amount of money. It will
create hundreds of thousands of jobs, tremendous economic development, and much
additional wealth for the United States. Of the $450 billion, $110 billion will be spent on
the purchase of military equipment from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many
other great U.S. defense contractors. If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and
China would be the enormous beneficiaries - and very happy to acquire all of this

newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!
The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does
not condone. Indeed, we have taken strong action against those already known to have
participated in the murder. After great independent research, we now know many details
of this horrible crime. We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been
involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the disposal of his body.
Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an aenemy of the statea
and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that a
this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad
bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of
Mr. Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could
very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event a maybe he did
and maybe he didnat!
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr.
Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States
intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our
country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully
eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would
like to go in a different direction - and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever
ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and
safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing
nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to
my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels a so important for the world. As
President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world,
America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish
to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!