Trump Brags He Made Saudis Pay for US Troops

Says he's the first to ever ask for Saudi money

In comments to reporters at the NATO meeting Wednesday, President Trump claimed that he had gotten billions of dollars out of Saudi Arabia for the current US military presence there, and that the US is getting to move troops for no cost.

Trump said that no one else had ever asked the Saudis for money and he was told that and said “I know, king, but I’m asking,” and that the Saudis were glad to pay for the US troops.

It was only a week ago that the US was even reported to have entered into talks with the Saudis on possible cost-sharing, and there was no indication President Trump was directly involved. No deal was announced, and certainly not the billions of dollars Trump is now claiming to have gotten out of the kingdom.

Trump faulted President Obama for having never asked the Saudis for money. This likely never came up, as it is only recently that the US has had troops in the kingdom. The US military presence in Saudi Arabia was ended after 9/11.

Trump’s comments came in the context of a question about his demands for billions of dollars from South Korea, suggesting that keeping troop levels the same in the Korean Peninsula would depend on the South sharing the cost.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of