Muhammed Bill Bin Salman, President Trump, Saudi Arabia discussed on Diane Rehm: On My Mind

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Dave concluded that it's it's basically impossible that Mohammed bin Salman would not have been aware and had a role in. Ordering it. And the president said maybe he did made the he didn't what does that mean? Well, this goes to what I was saying earlier, the president has a huge declared interest in maintaining and preserving the alliance with Saudi Arabia and the relationship that he and his son in law Jared Kushner have built with the crown prince with Mohammed bin Salman, so throughout the process of the uncovering of this crime, President Trump, I think has been clinging to uncertainty. He's been clinging to the grey areas here to the lack of a smoking gun to say, look, we don't know with one hundred percent veracity weather, Mohammed bin Salman was behind this. And since we don't know that why should we sabatoge this tremendously important alliance? We have with a partner in the Middle East with a young prince who's going to rule his country perhaps for decades. In whom we've invested a great deal of time and effort, and so he's really he keeps coming back to the lack of a hundred percent certitude will as we all know in many of these situations it's impossible to have one hundred percent certitude. But when your own intelligence agency concludes with a high degree of confidence that Mohammed bin Salman was involved. It really makes it difficult for the president to simply sweep all that under the rug and say, I'm sticking with my guide. So to what extent or the figure that that president has given about the investment, and the monies are they exaggerate it are they truthful what we know they are grossly exaggerated. The president talks about a grand total of four hundred fifty billion dollars Ilian with Ilian with the b of mill combination of military sales weapons sales and other direct and indirect investments that Saudi Arabia's may. Making in the United States. Now, if you unpack that hundred ten billion number which is the easiest number to get at people who do this for a living defense analysts have concluded that there's only about fourteen and a half billion in military weapons sales that have actually been booked money's been transferred, and the real number might actually be lower than that. Because some of these were pre existing deals that the Saudis are simply completing a prior commitments on there are there were one or two big block BUSTER deals that were announced in the context of President Trump's trip to Riyadh last year. If you recall that was the first overseas trip he made his president to Saudi Arabia. And that's where this this very impressive. Number was first announced. There have been a couple of big deals announced in the context of his trip. But many of those deals in fact, did not come through it all there's a very big deal with Lockheed Martin for an anti me. Missile defense system that has yet to be signed. And concluded so the numbers are as I've said before in articles, not just exaggerated, but fanciful it is impossible to get to one hundred ten billion in arms sales and to say nothing of the four hundred fifty billion in total Saudi investment. So these numbers are really greatly exaggerated. They bear no relation to reality. So the prison keeps emphasizing those numbers as the reason for continuing this what he calls extremely important relationship despite the loss of a human life. A man who was a reporter for the Washington Post who went to the Saudi consulate in Turkey to get a marriage lice. That's right. What the president says in essence is look what happened. To Jamal Shoji is a terrible thing. It's a horrible thing. But this is a tough world and countries do bad things the Iranians do bad things the Russians do bad things the Saudis do bad things. Are you going to overturn this lucrative and strategic alliance on the basis of this one horrible thing for the president the answer to that is clear, you're not not only are you not going to overturn it? You're not even going to really seriously challenge the Saudis on their conduct in this matter. And so the president I think would like to draw a line under the whole episode this statement, he relate released shortly before thanksgiving was intended to end the debate. We are not going to give up on our alliance. We're going to stand with the Saudis. We're going to stand with Muhammed Bill bin Salman, the interesting question now is will the congress go along with that?.

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