Every time there’s a suggestion that the United States might step back from 100 percent support for Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump has a standard response—the Saudis are buying $110 billion in US weapons, and we wouldn’t want them taking their murder bomb business somewhere else. It’s a message Trump has deployed previously in defending the Saudi blockage of Qatar, and in cheering on the “fighting corruption” that’s included beheading more than 100 people. The bigger the Saudi crime of the moment, the louder Trump talks about the arms deal.
See if you can detect these subtle differences. Here’s Donald Trump talking about the arms deal on March 20.
Trump: What it does is it really means many, many jobs. We’re talking about over 40,000 jobs in the United States.
And here’s Donald Trump on Fox News Tuesday evening.
Trump: It’s 500,000 jobs. It’s be $110 billion. It’s the biggest order in the history of our country from an outside military.
Apparently Trump believes that murdering just one journalist generates 460,000 jobs. Or he doesn’t, and he’s just pulling out one bullshit number after another.
As NPR reported on Monday, the actual value of the arms deal is not $110 billion. It’s not even a fraction of that amount. In fact, it may be exactly zero of that amount.
… during the Obama administration, the Saudis bought about $112-billion-worth of U.S. weapons. So they – that was in the – that ballpark. But those contracts are mostly completed by now.
Since Trump took office, the Saudi have signed onto $4 billion in arms sales. Arms that have already been delivered. The actual amount of outstanding arms that Donald Trump has sold to the Saudis is nothing. The number of jobs being generated by those sales is zero.