Mar 17, 2017
The Saudi government was a very generous benefactor to the Clinton Foundation prior to the 2016 election, but it has quickly warmed up to the figure who handed Hillary an unexpected defeat. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described his meeting with President Trump as an “historical turning point” in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh, who share a common view of Iran as the leading threat to peace and stability in the Gulf region.
Reuters observes that “Saudi Arabia had viewed with unease the administration of … Barack Obama, whom they felt considered Riyadh’s alliance with Washington less important than negotiating the Iran nuclear deal. Riyadh and other Gulf allies see in Trump a strong president who will shore up Washington’s role as their main strategic partner and help contain Riyadh’s adversary Iran in a region central to US security and energy interests[.]”
Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute points out that Saudi Arabia, whose ruling clique is deeply implicated in promoting Sunni Islamic militancy world-wide, controls a very powerful foreign lobby in Washington that distorts the government’s foreign policy priorities.
“The Saudis throw millions of dollars around,” comments McAdams. “It doesn’t matter who is elected, it doesn’t matter who is running things, because the Saudis have got so much power, because they hire all kinds of lobbyists ….”
During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump challenged Hillary Clinton to return $25 million donated by the Saudis to the Clinton Foundation. Now, McAdams observed, “It looks like [Trump and the Saudis] are getting along quite well.”