Conservative Representative Justin Amash accused Donald Trump Saturday of “selling” American troops to Saudi Arabia after the president boasted that the nation has deposited $1 billion into a bank he did not identify for “more troops.”
“He sells troops,” Amash tersely noted in a tweet.
Other critics erupted on Twitter over a possible future in which US soldiers could be sent as mercenaries to any high-bidding country to risk their lives, regardless of a nation’s ideology or rationale for fighting.
Others argued the country doesn’t deserve American support because of Saudi Arabia’s link to the vicious dismemberment and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was writing at the time for The Washington Post. Some pointed out that most of the hijackers in the 9/11 attack were Saudis.
And some wondered exactly where the Saudi $1 billion is.
Trump clearly saw nothing wrong with the idea. “Listen, you’re a very rich country,” he told Saudi officials, Trump recounted on Fox News. “You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”
Amash, who recently left the Republican Party, becoming an independent as he began to criticize Trump, complained in October that the president broke his campaign promise to bring American troops home.
“He’s not bringing home the troops. He’s just moving them to other parts of the Middle East,” Amash said.
“He’s moving ... troops into Saudi Arabia and using our forces almost as mercenaries, paid mercenaries. As long as Saudi Arabia pays us some money, it’s good to go,” he added sarcastically.