Pompeo meets Saudi rulers immediately after Trump insulted Riyadh

US Secretary of State met Saudi Arabia's rulers on Monday exactly the day after US President insulted Saudis by the phrase we should "Take their money".

Iran Press/ Middle East: On a day trip scheduled after Iran shot down a US drone, Mike Pompeo flew into the Red Sea city of Jeddah and met with King Salman at his palace, AFP reported.

"You are a dear friend," the king told Pompeo as he shook hands with the US diplomat and his aides.

Mike Pompeo (L) King Salman (R)

Pompeo later opened talks with Mohammed bin Salman. He was due to fly later Monday to the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier during an interview with NBC "Meet The Press," on Sunday Trump said his only interests in the Middle East except for Israel, is protecting Saudi Arabia and added: "That’s all I care about…, look Saudi Arabia is buying $400 billion worth of things for us. That’s a very good thing."

Meanwhile, experts say Trump’s repeated claim that Saudi Arabia has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in US goods and services has no basis in reality.

In fact, the Saudis signed letters of offer and acceptance for $14.5 billion worth of purchases as of October 2018. The White House did not immediately respond to media's request for comment about the other $385.5 billion.

Trump in a tweet said that If Saudis don't do business with us you know what they do? They'll do business with the Russians or with the Chinese. ... Take their money. 

In defending Washington's continued partnership with the Saudis, Trump claimed in the NBC interview that the country is "a big buyer" of US products.

 "That means something to me," the president said. "It’s a big producer of jobs."

The US Senate voted last week to block the Trump administration from selling arms to Saudi Arabia for Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi’s murder and war in Yemen but Trump has vowed to veto the measure.

Related news:

US senators to block Trump's arms sales to Saudi

During a private meeting in 2015, Trump said, "Saudi Arabia is just like 'a milk cow' and asserted we will slaughter it when its milk runs out." In another part of his speech, Trump adds that Saudi Arabia is an ugly bride who is also rich.

Pompeo's trip comes despite growing controversy inside the United States over the Trump administration's cosy relationship with Mohammed bin Salman after US-based dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

Pompeo used rare emergency powers, citing Iran as a threat, to authorize $8.1 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, despite concerns in the US Congress that the arms will go to kill civilians in the devastating war in Yemen.104/209

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Pompeo meets Saudi rulers immediately after Trump insulted Riyadh
Mike Pompeo (L) King Salman (R)