Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has been criticized for opposing U.S. interference in Syria, had harsh words for President Donald Trump, regarding Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Gabbard tweeted that the U.S. president was “Saudi Arabia’s bitch,” after Trump said Washington will remain allies with Riyadh regardless of the Kingdom being implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - who was killed on the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Trump doubled down, saying the United States Government will not dissolve any partnership with Saudi Arabia despite a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) investigation concluding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi's killing.
“...we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi... the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region."
On Tuesday, Trump highlighted that Saudi Arabia was a key ally against Iran as well as an important oil supplier. The U.S. president added that, though Khashoggi’s murder was an “unacceptable and horrible crime” and “it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event,” Washington will not sever ties with the middle eastern country.
“I’m not going to destroy the world economy, and I’m not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia,” Trump told reporters. "If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake."
Similarly, Gabbard, who is a two-tour veteran, previously clashed with former President Barack Obama on Syrian policy, commenting that the United States was hastily pushing for change in the country but ignoring the potential consequences of that action, and hitting out against Washington arming anti-government fighters in Syria.
"I'm pretty sure this statement is Saudi Arabia First, not America First," Paul posted on his Twitter page. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker also tweeted displeasure, "I never thought I'd see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”
Last week, anti-interventionist Gabbard also called for an end to U.S. involvement with the Saudi-led war in Yemen. "It is long overdue that we end U.S. complicity in Saudi Arabia's atrocities. We must end all U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's genocidal war in Yemen now."
Gabbard had began her political career with more conservative views on several issues. “I began to realize that the positions I had held previously regarding the issues of choice and gay marriage were rooted in the same premise held by those in power in the oppressive middle east regimes I saw,” the Hawaiian Democrat said, referencing her tours of duty.
The congresswoman, who supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary, is being considered a potential presidential candidate for 2020.