Long-time Donald Trump pal and former campaign adviser Roger Stone says seeing the president receive an award from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman “makes me want to puke.”
Stone, like many other conservative Trump backers, believes the president may be softening his hardline stand against Islamic terrorism.
Trump eased his own harsh rhetoric in a speech in Riyadh at the Arab Islamic American Summit on Sunday, condemning “Islamic extremism.” During his presidential campaign Trump often rebuked Barack Obama for refusing to use “radical Islamic terrorism,” a phrase which did not make Trump’s speech.
Stone took to social media to criticize King Salman’s bestowing of the nation’s highest civilian award to Trump on Saturday. The president bent his head to receive the Order of Abdulaziz medallion from the king, then did a small curtsy.
“Candidly, this makes me want to puke,” Stone tweeted. Trump was among conservatives who blasted Barack Obama for appearing to bow to then-Saudi King Abdullah during a visit to the country.
Stone also said that Trump should have demanded that the Saudis pay for the 9/11 attack on the United States. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudi nationals. No evidence has ever been presented that the Saudi government was behind the attacks.
But the 2004 report by the 9/11 Commission suggested that the Saudi government had “turned a blind eye” to charities that funded the attack. Twenty-eight pages of an earlier report by a joint congressional commission were classified and are widely believed to include more information on possible links.
Trump himself has blamed the Saudis for the attack.
“Who blew up the World Trade Center?” Trump asked on Fox and Friends last year during his campaign. “It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents.”
Later that same day at a campaign stop in South Carolina, he referred to “secret papers” that could prove it was “the Saudis” who were responsible for 9/11. “It wasn’t the Iraqis that knocked down the World Trade Center because they have papers in there that are very secret, you may find it’s the Saudis, OK?”
Stone is an outspoken loose cannon among Trump’s informal advisers. He is also being investigated by the FBI for possible Russian ties. He admitted that he communicated with the hacker linked by the FBI to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, but has insisted that doesn’t mean he colluded with the Kremlin.
CNN reported that Stone was among Trump’s confidantes to advise the president to fire FBI Director James Comey— a report Trump denied as “fake news.” Stone also denied the report, but said he backed the firing “100 percent.”
Stone is the latest staunch Trump supporter who has recently had harsh words for the president. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter last week said Trump has a “grotesque personality” and his actions in the White House have been disappointing.
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