Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, called President Trump “Saudi Arabia’s b—-” on Wednesday, a day after Trump argued for the importance of a strong U.S-Saudi relationship amid calls for him to take a tougher stance on the kingdom in response to the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi.
“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,” he said in a lengthy statement Tuesday. “Very simply it is called America First!”
On Wednesday he also thanked Saudi Arabia for its role in reducing oil prices.
“Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” he tweeted.
TRUMP THANKS SAUDI ARABIA FOR LOWER OIL PRICES, BUT SAYS ‘LET’S GO LOWER!’
But Gabbard was not impressed
“Hey @realdonaldtrump: being Saudi Arabia’s b—- is not “America First,’” she tweeted.
Trump has faced criticism, particularly from Democrats, for not taking a tougher line on the Saudis over the killing of writer Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey in October.
While the administration has slapped sanctions and a travel ban on 17 Saudi government officials who it says were part of the planning and execution of the plot that led to Khashoggi’s death, Trump said in a three-page statement on Tuesday that he was unsure whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about it.
“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 – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said in a lengthy statement.
He also said that Saudi Arabia has agreed to spend billions of dollars fighting Islamic terrorism, and agreed to invest $450 billion in the United States: “This is a record amount of money,” he said.
Gabbard has herself faced criticism for meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2017 in Damascus. That decision was noted by Meghan McCain in response to Gabbard’s tweet.
“Big words coming from a woman who pals around with Bashar al-Assad as he chemically gasses women and children…” she tweeted.