Crown Prince a strong man: Trump

Donald Trump

Washington — US President Donald Trump showed strong confidence in Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, arguing that the United States’ relationship with the Kingdom is key to his administration’s policy objectives in the Middle East.

He did not call for the ouster of Prince Muhammad, instead praised his leadership, calling the Crown Prince “a strong person, who has very good control.”

During the 20-minute interview, with the Washington Post, Trump repeatedly talked about the importance of the economic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Muhammad’s role in that relationship.

The president said that neither Secretary of State Mike Pompeo nor he had heard audio or seen video recording of the attack inside the consulate in Turkey.

“I’ve heard all about the videos or the tapes. Nobody would get it faster than me. Nobody has been able to show it,” Trump said.

The president said he does not prefer that another leader replaces the 33-year-old Crown Prince because, he said, he has read about others and Muhammad, known as MBS, who is “considered by far the strongest person” and who “truly loves his country.”

“He is seen as a person who can keep things under check,” Trump said. “I mean that in a positive way.”

“I think it’s a very important ally for us. Especially when you have Iran doing so many bad things in the world. It’s a good counterbalance to the world. Iran, they’re as evil as it gets. They’re probably laughing at this situation as they see it.”

Trump defended Crown Prince Muhammad’s father, King Salman, saying he “does not know about it.”

Asked about rumors that the King is not in good health, Trump said: “I spoke to him two days ago, he’s very sharp, he’s a wise man, he’s a wise person.” — SG