Trump’s Baggage: A History of Insults Towards Saudi Arabia

Today, Trump heads to Saudi Arabia with an olive branch in one hand and a history of nasty barbs in the other. Though the White House claims that he considers Saudi Arabia a friend, Trump has a past of saying anything but. 


For starters, he’s suggested that the alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia would be weakened over oil production:

TRUMP:  “Maybe we don’t need the oil to the same extent as we did, and pretty soon, if we allowed, if we allowed what we have, technologically, to go forward, we wouldn’t need them at all. You know, we used to need Saudi Arabia for oil, and that part of the world. It all started with the oil, and it sort of ends with the oil.”  


On multiple occasions, he’s demanded payment in return for military protection:

TRUMP: “We protect Saudi Arabia. We have soldiers over there, that they don't pay us for, by the way. We have soldiers all over the Middle East protecting these countries.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “So you would take away that protection?” TRUMP: “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You think they're our friends? They're not our friends.”  

TRUMP: “Saudi Arabia wouldn't exist for 24 hours if we ever left, if we weren't protecting them. They take advantage of us, and they go out and buy their 747's as private planes like other people buy a G-5 or they'd buy a Lear jet. They buy 747's. We are letting them get away with murder.”

TRUMP: “I guarantee you if that happens, Iran takes over the oil, Iran becomes a force like never before in history, they then take over for Saudi Arabia, they go after Saudi Arabia which frankly I would protect if they pay us, only if they pay us so otherwise I’m not interested. I’m interested in protecting none of them unless they pay.”


Trump has an embarrassing history of fabricated 9/11-related statements and has included Saudi Arabia in his claims:

TRUMP: “And by the way, the terrorists sent their families home to Saudi Arabia. They didn't send them home to Iraq, they sent them home to Saudi Arabia, which is another thing for people to think about.”

TRUMP: “[Osama bin Laden] may be housed frankly in Saudi Arabia because you think Saudi Arabia is our friend, I mean nobody hurts us like Saudi with the fuel prices.”


More broadly, Trump heads to one of the most influential countries in the Arab world with a well-known record of slights against Muslims:

TRUMP: “I think Islam hates us. There is something — there is something there that is a tremendous hatred there. There's a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There's an unbelievable hatred of us.”

TRUMP: “You see the hatred. I mean, we see it every day. You see it whether it’s in Paris or whether it’s the World Trade Center or whether it’s even one minute of silence at a soccer game out of respect for the people that died, and there was no respect by a pretty good group of people in that stadium. There’s something nasty coming out of there.”


And Trump has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States:

TRUMP CAMPAIGN: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.”