President Trump shared that Saudi Arabia’s king had called him to “express sincere condolences” over the Florida Naval station shooting while CNN’s national security analyst slammed the president for his reaction.
Juliette Kayyem accused Trump of offering an “olive branch” to the Saudis in the wake of the deadly shooting by a Saudi Arabian gunman at a Naval Air Station in Pensacola on Friday.
(Video: Fox Business)
The shooter, an aviation student identified as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was fatally shot by officers.
“The king said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter and that this person in no way, shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people so much, so that was just given to me by the king of Saudi Arabia,” the president said during a White House roundtable, reading the comments from King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
“And I can tell you it’s a horrible thing that took place, and we are getting to the bottom of it. All of the investigators are there now and they’re studying it very closely,” he said of the shooting which left three victims dead and several more wounded.
“And our condolences go to the families and to everybody involved, including the wounded. We have some badly wounded people also and we have to extend our condolences to them and we’ll be working with them all very closely. So I just wanted to let you know that was from King Salman,” Trump added.
The president also tweeted about the conversation he had with the Saudi king.
….The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
Kayyem called out Trump’s response to the news about the Saudi Air Force officer responsible for the shooting, telling “OutFront” host Erin Burnett that he should have kept quiet.
“The president sort of went out of his way to essentially do everything but apologize that the Saudis had to apologize, right?” she said. “In other words, at the very least, given the situation with the Saudis right now. you just keep quiet because we don’t know what is going on yet, and yet the president sort of felt compelled to offer this olive branch.”
Burnett agreed, remarking how Trump’s response was “quite similar” to his reaction to the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 which was allegedly tied to the Saudi Arabian government.
“This just gets to the question of motivation and always with this president when it comes to the Saudis, when it comes to the Russians, and it starts to get tiresome after a while,” Kayyem said.
“It would be one thing for the president to say simply, of course, that he does not represent all of Saudi Arabia, neither would a Mexican would represent all of Mexico. But you always sort of wonder, given the economic situation between the Trump family and the Saudis, why he bends over backward a million times to defend Saudi Arabia’s egregious behavior,” she added.
The shooter used a handgun in his rampage at the Pensacola Naval Station where he was part of the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity’s International Training Center program that trains students from nations that are allies of the U.S.
Florida’s Gov. Ron Desantis told reporters after the incident that the Saudis “owe a debt” following the shooting.
“The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims,” the Republican governor said at a news conference after reportedly speaking to the president. “They are going to owe a debt here given that this is one of their individuals.”
“Anyone who serves in the Navy knows that this is a special place, Naval Air Station Pensacola,” DeSantis added. “All these brave warriors who wear the wings, they come through here for flight training. And so this is a dark day for a very great place.”
CNN and the left slammed Trump for what they perceived as his bending to the Saudis when he simply conveyed the remarks of the king on the tragedy. But Twitter users blasted CNN and anti-Trump critics for their hypocrisy and spinning the narrative.
Warmongering CNN’s at it again
— Elux Troxl (@EluxTroxl) December 7, 2019
You really are such an ass. Exactly how was he kissing anyone by stating the words spoken by the other country. He has no intel at this point so the man simply told the people what the Saudi King said to him. I know you people like to “interpret” but maybe it’s time you stop!
— Janice Blake (@JaniceB62355567) December 7, 2019
U cannot condemn & hold the kingdom,its prince, &its people accountable simply because someone who is crazy and mad & has a psychological problem may act in an unacceptable way.Every country has people outside the law, principles,morals & kingdom that do not accept this behavior.
— Bassima Elnahi (@BNNB79) December 7, 2019
Meanwhile Obama literally bowed to them and CNN didn’t care.
— 🌻Laurie🌻 (@Laurie5956) December 7, 2019
Psst, It was Hussein Obama who bent, literally, to Saudi King. 😡😡😡 pic.twitter.com/seWM7QHeXy
— Airplane Ben (@BenAirplane) December 7, 2019
CNN again twisting this situation that was created by obama & Hillary just like Russian Collusion Hoax was all obama-Hillary
Ukraine was all obama- Biden extortion.
Russian & Ukrainian election interference during evil obama regime, “Deep State Department” activities as well.
— Austere Govt. Mule (@Az61Ronin) December 7, 2019
Fuck of CNN.
First they avoided even the guys name cause it was not a white shooter.
Trump announced the Saudi condoleances so now they had to
Solution: spin this into another “it’s orange man bad’s fault”
— Skippy (@paddua) December 7, 2019
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