An Obama administration deputy national security adviser on Tuesday blasted President Donald Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East, describing it as “a Saudi wish list.”
Ben Rhodes also reminded viewers of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “American foreign policy should not be for sale” as he called out Trump’s response to coordinated drone strikes on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the weekend attacks. Trump said they were backed by Iran and blustered that the U.S. is “locked and loaded” while awaiting Saudi Arabia’s direction on how to proceed.
“I absolutely do not believe, Joe, that that would be in the interest of the United States to go to war with Iran on behalf of an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure,” said Rhodes.
“The American military should certainly not be for sale to the highest bidder,” Rhodes continued. “Especially someone like Mohammed bin Salman, who’s been demonstrated to be a murderous dictator killing a journalist for the Washington Post in a consulate in Turkey while also launching this war in Yemen that has had disastrous consequences.”
Rhodes noted that Saudi Arabia is not an ally of the U.S.
“We have no obligation to come to the defense of their oil facilities and increasingly they’re a country that should concern us in terms of their complete rejection of democratic values,” he continued. “And so again, I think the American people would look at this and not think it was a wise idea go to war on behalf of this particular Saudi leader.”
Rhodes acknowledged it was “a mistake” for the Obama administration to provide support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Since then, Saudi Arabia under bin Salman has taken “a dark, dark turn,” he added.
Check out the full interview here: