Presidential candidate Donald Trump criticises Saudi Arabia

The billionaire property mogul said Saudi Arabia “is going to be in big trouble pretty soon”.

August 18, 2015

Donald Trump, the billionaire property tycoon and potential US Presidential candidate, has said that he is “not a big fan” of Saudi Arabia, and that the Kingdom is going to be in “big trouble pretty soon”.

His comments came in an interview with American broadcaster NBC, as part of his campaign for the Republican nomination. Speaking about the GCC country, the 69-year old said that the US had paid too much to “back them up”. 

“They should pay us,” Trump said. “Like it or don’t like it, people have backed Saudi Arabia. What I really mind, though, is we back it at tremendous expense. We get nothing for it.

The primary reason we're with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now we don't need the oil so much, and if we let our people really go, we wouldn't need the oil at all and we could let everybody else fight it out.”

According to the US State Department's website, the country imports more than one million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia every day.

It’s not the first time he has criticised the Kingdom over its oil policy. His comments echoed earlier statements made by him in June, when he announced he was running for the Republican candidacy in the 2016 Presidential election. 

“Now, thanks to fracking and other things, the oil is all over the place,” Trump said at the time. “They’ve [Saudi Arabia] got nothing but money.” 

He claimed that Saudi Arabia is dependent upon the US, and that without America’s economic support, Saudi Arabia would be 'gone'. “Saudi Arabia without us is gone... Saudi Arabia, if it weren’t for us, they wouldn’t be here. They wouldn’t exist.”

In this week's televised interview, Trump also touched on the Kingdom’s military situation with Yemen, claiming they were going to need assistance. “Saudi Arabia is going to be in big trouble pretty soon and they're going to need help, because if you look at Yemen and you look at that border, you don't have to be an expert to know that is one long border, and they're not going in for Yemen, they're going in for the oil, they're going in for Saudi Arabia, so Saudi Arabia is going to need help.” 

The NBC interview also covered the recent Iran nuclear deal, with Trump saying he would honour the deal and that it would be tough to rip up, but would "police that contract so tough they don't have a chance."

"I'm really good at looking at a contract,” he said. “As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract.

“I would have told them up front you'll never get your $150 billion back. They are going to be such a wealthy, such a powerful nation, they're going to have nuclear weapons. They are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn't believe. And I think it's going to lead to nuclear holocaust.”

Donald Trump’s quotes on the GCC

On abandoning plans to build a 60-storey tower with Dubai developer Nakheel on Palm Jumeirah: “The world collapsed. “Many of the projects that started, you see some of them sitting around all over the world. We were smart and we got a little bit lucky that we never started that job.”

Donald Trump on Nakheel: “They were very nice people, we had a great relationship, we still do. [But] the world crashed. This was not Dubai’s fault, it was not Nakheel’s fault.”

Donald Trump on Dubai: “It’s bold, beautiful, vibrant. “I think Dubai has a tremendous upsell. All you have to do is look at the prices prior to the world going down and then look at them now; there’s a tremendous gap. Dubai has become actually very conservative from a financial standpoint. It’s a much different time and I think a much smarter time.”

Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia: “Saudi Arabia, they make $1 billion a day. $1 billion a day. I love the Saudis. Many are in this building. They make a billion dollars a day. Whenever they have problems, we send over the ships. We say ‘we’re gonna protect.’ What are we doing? They’ve got nothing but money. If the right person asked them, they’d pay a fortune. They wouldn’t be there except for us.”

Donald Trump on oil price: “Saudi Arabia is in big, big trouble. Now, thanks to fracking and other things, the oil is all over the place. And I used to say it, there are ships at sea, and this was during the worst crisis, that were loaded up with oil, and the cartel kept the price up, because, again, they were smarter than our leaders. They were smarter than our leaders.”