At a rally in Mississippi earlier this week, President Trump bragged about putting his foot down with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and demanding more military spending, following accusations that he and other OPEC nations are “ripping off the rest of the world.”
Trump told the rally “I love the king, King Salman. But I said King – we’re protecting you – you might not be there for two weeks without us – you have to pay for your military.” Trump did not indicate when you said this.
This led to a response from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who says that the US armaments Saudi Arabia has were not free, and that the Saudis “bought everything with money.”
Indeed, Saudi Arabia has been among the world’s leaders in military spending in recent years, reflecting massive expenditures on their war in Yemen, and continued purchases of huge amounts of US arms.
Most scandals surrounding Saudi military spending are not that they’re spending too little, but that they’re buying so much deadly armament and killing so many civilians in neighboring Yemen. This has put US arms sales to the Saudis under growing scrutiny.