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Opinion Opinions | Following the Pensacola shooting, Trump auditions as Saudi Arabia’s press secretary

22:35  08 december  2019
22:35  08 december  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

6 Saudi nationals detained for questioning after NAS Pensacola shooting: Official

  6 Saudi nationals detained for questioning after NAS Pensacola shooting: Official Six Saudi nationals were detained for questioning Friday near a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla., after a Saudi gunman opened fire there, killing three people before being shot dead by officers, a senior U.S. official told Fox News. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump speaks during a roundtable on small business at the White House on Dec. 6, in which he discussed the shooting by a member of the Saudi air force in Pensacola, Fla., and said Saudi Arabia's King Salman had called to express condolences. © Kevin Dietsch/Bloomberg President Trump speaks during a roundtable on small business at the White House on Dec. 6, in which he discussed the shooting by a member of the Saudi air force in Pensacola, Fla., and said Saudi Arabia's King Salman had called to express condolences.

President Trump has long held a double standard when it comes to terrorist attacks: When the perpetrator is a white supremacist, he offers anodyne expressions of sympathy for the victims (often “thoughts and prayers”), while typically failing to label the attack an act of terrorism. When the perpetrator is a Muslim, however, he is vitriolic in his denunciations and his calls for a massive response, such as stopping all Muslims from entering the United States. After a car plowed into pedestrians in London on Aug. 14, 2018, for example, he tweeted: “Another terrorist attack in London... These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in U.S. Navy base rampage: FBI

  Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in U.S. Navy base rampage: FBI Saudi shooter believed to have acted alone in U.S. Navy base rampage: FBIRachel Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI's Jacksonville office, said the shooter used a Glock model 45 9mm handgun that he had purchased legally in Florida.

It turns out that Trump actually has a triple standard, because he treats attacks by Saudis differently than those from other Muslim nations. On Friday, a Saudi air force officer studying at the Naval Air Station Pensacola shot dead three Americans and wounded eight others. Instead of expressing outrage or vowing vengeance, or even waiting for all the facts to come in, Trump sounded as if he were auditioning for the job of press secretary at the Saudi Embassy. He conveyed King Salman’s “sincere condolences” and his (highly questionable) assurances “that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.” Trump then told reporters that the king “will take care of the families and loved ones of the victims.” 

Saudi defense official meets with Saudi students at NAS Pensacola following deadly shooting

  Saudi defense official meets with Saudi students at NAS Pensacola following deadly shooting A Saudi official visited NAS Pensacola to meet with students restricted their by their Saudi commanding officer following Friday's deadly shooting.The FBI's Jacksonville Division, which is handling the investigation of the attack, tweeted Tuesday morning that Saudi Arabia Defense Attaché Major General Fawaz Al Fawaz and his embassy staff met with the Saudi students. They've been detained on the base by their Saudi commanding officer since the shooting.

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Sorry, but Americans don’t need blood money from the Saudis. What they need are honest answers to figure out what happened and why. It has been reported that the attacker had screened videos of previous mass shootings with fellow Saudi students at Pensacola; that before the attack he had posted online criticism of Israel and of America’s “invasion” of foreign countries, suggesting he may have been inspired by al-Qaeda; and that some of his fellow Saudi students filmed the attack. There is enough evidence for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R.-Fla.), a fervent Trump supporter who represents Pensacola, to label the attack an act of terrorism. But Trump, who never hesitates to throw out the “T” word after other attacks by Muslims, refuses to do so in this case.

This is, of course, only the latest example of Trump’s suspicious partiality to Saudi Arabia — the site of his first trip abroad as president. Trump has taken Saudi Arabia’s side as it has blockaded Qatar, the home of a large U.S. military base; caused a humanitarian tragedy with its bombing of Yemen; and even murdered and dismembered Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Congress was so outraged by Saudi atrocities — both against Yemen and Khashoggi — that it passed legislation to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Trump vetoed the bills. And even while abandoning the Kurds who fought with U.S. troops to defeat the Islamic State, Trump has sent thousands of U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia, a deployment that in the past has inflamed jihadist sentiment.

EXCLUSIVE-Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting

  EXCLUSIVE-Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting

Why is Trump so sickeningly solicitous of a vicious dictatorship whose citizens have carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Americans, from Sept. 11, 2001, to Friday in Pensacola? In public, Trump talks about the supposed economic benefits of the relationship — even though the United States, which has now become energy-independent, no longer needs Saudi oil. “They give us a lot of jobs. They give us a lot of business,” Trump said in justifying his nonresponse to Khashoggi’s murder. As usual, Trump is wildly exaggerating: He claimed last year that the Saudis have agreed to buy $110 billion in U.S. weapons since he took office. The real figure was $14.5 billion.

One can’t help but suspect that Trump’s interest in Saudi Arabia is more personal. While Trump now denies any financial ties to Saudi Arabia, during a 2015 campaign rally, he said: “Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”

Trump has continued to benefit from Saudi largesse as president. The Post reported that, at the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, “revenue from room rentals went up 13 percent in the first three months of 2018” after “two years of decline.” The general manager of the hotel attributed its good fortune to “a last-minute visit to New York by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”

Navy grounds Saudi pilot trainees after deadly shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station

  Navy grounds Saudi pilot trainees after deadly shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station The Navy has grounded more than 300 Saudi nationals training to be pilots after the shooting last week at Pensacola Naval Air Station.Training for all personnel at the Florida base was suspended over the weekend, said Navy Cdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman. Limited training resumed Monday, including for some international students. However, the Saudi students remain grounded, Doss said. Some classroom training for them is expected to resume this week.

That would be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has established a chummy relationship with his U.S. counterpart, “Crown Prince” Jared Kushner, whose family real estate company has its own ties to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. This is a friendship that allows the crown prince to literally get away with murder.

If we’ve learned anything from Trump’s attempted extortion of Ukraine, it’s that all politics and policy is personal for him. His policy is “Me First,” not “America First.” Trump’s suspicious relationship with Saudi Arabia is merely another example of what happens when a president decides to run the U.S. government as if it were a family-owned business whose only objective is to benefit his bottom line.

Read more:

The Post’s View: Mohammed bin Salman has learned nothing

Max Boot: How Trump is making the world a very dangerous place

The Post’s View: Investing in Saudi Arabia’s oil company is an investment in a brutal regime

The Post’s View: Saudi authorities said she’d go free if she denied being tortured. She refused.

Read Jamal Khashoggi’s columns for The Washington Post

All eight people injured in NAS Pensacola shooting released from hospital .
More than a week after the deadly shooting at NAS Pensacola, all eight of the people who were injured have been released from the hospital. Base officials confirmed Saturday that the last person who was hospitalized has since been discharged.The shooting Dec. 6 resulted in the deaths of four people — including the gunman, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force — and the wounding of eight others.Three young naval aviators were killed in the attack, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19; Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23; and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters,  21.© John Blackie/jblackie@pnj.

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