President Donald Trump described his first day in Saudi Arabia as “tremendous” hailing the “hundreds of billions of dollars” Saudi leaders pledged to invest in the US.
“That was a tremendous day,” Trump said in his first public comments after the meeting. “Tremendous investments in the United States. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Trump embarked on his first foreign trip as president on Friday. His first stop was Saudi Arabia, and he will spend the rest of his trip travelling to Israel, the Vatican, Sicily, and Belgium.
Trump’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman included the signing of a military arms deal worth $US110 billion immediately and $US350 billion over 10 years.
The deal includes a pledge to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, according to a statement about the agreement.
Trump was joined on his trip by the key members of his staff and cabinet, including chief of staff Reince Priebus, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, press secretary Sean Spicer, and chief strategist Steve Bannon.
During a joint press conference with Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, Tillerson also noted that the two nations would work together to address counterterrorism and radical Islamic terror.
Trump’s first foreign trip comes amidst a torrent of controversy for his administration in the US. Last week, the president abruptly fired FBI director James Comey. Later, he said that “the Russia thing” was a factor in his decision, referring to the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian officials and Russian interference in the 2016 election.
This week, it was reported that Trump divulged highly-classified intelligence to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during an Oval Office meeting the week before. It also emerged that Trump had reportedly asked Comey in February to drop the FBI’s investigation, according to a memo Comey wrote which was cited by the New York Times. On Wednesday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor in charge of the Russia probe.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that Trump told Lavrov and Kislyak that firing “nut job” Comey had taken “great pressure” off of him.
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