Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated “I’m not going to tell you right now what I’m going to do” with regards to the “disaster” Iran nuclear deal, and he would “protect Saudi Arabia” against an Iranian incursion if they reimbursed the US on Monday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.
Trump began by saying, [relevant remarks begin around 5:00] “I will say this about Iran, they’re looking to go into Saudi Arabia. they want the oil. They want the money. They want a lot of other things having to do. They took over Yemen. You look at that border with Yemen, between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. That is one big border, and they’re looking to do a number in Yemen, and I think they want it to go. That’s phase one, to go into Saudi Arabia, and, frankly, the Saudis don’t survive without us. And the question is, at what point do we get involved, and how much will Saudi Arabia pay us to save them? Because that’s ultimately what’s going to happen. We made a true — we made a power power out of Iran. We made a power out of Iran with the deal.”
He was then asked if he would use US troops to help fight off an Iranian incursion into Saudi Arabia if it pays some of the costs. Trump responded, “Well, right now if you look at right now, we pay — you know, we get — we already defend Saudi Arabia, right now, we’re defending them. Every time there’s a problem we go in and defend. And frankly, as far as I’m concerned, that’s all fine. We have to now — we owe $19 trillion, Bill. We’re defending everybody. We’re defending the world.” He added, “we can’t continue to defend everybody, and lose on every single thing we do. We have to rebuild our country. Our country is a mess. Our infrastructure’s crumbling. We owe $19 trillion.”
Trump was then asked if he would “take military action against Iran?” “Well, I would want to help Saudi Arabia. I would want to protect Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is going to have to help us economically. They were making, before the oil went down, now they’re making half, but they were making a billion dollars a day.” He added that such action against Iran would depend “on what the deal is, I would have to do that. I would defend certain groups of people over there. The deal we made with Iran is a disaster. The deal we made for $150 billion is a total disaster.”
Trump further criticized the Iran nuclear deal, which prompted a question on whether he would “scrap the deal” or bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Trump answered with, “I’m going to do what’s right. I want to be unpredictable. I’m not going to tell you right now what I’m going to do. The problem is, we have a president that he says we’re going to get out of Iraq on such and such a date. Everybody pulls back, and then as soon as we leave they go in. We have to show some unpredictability. I want to be unpredictable. I don’t want to tell you exactly what I’m going to do.”
When questioned on whether voters have a right to know how far he would go, Trump said, “No they don’t. … Because it depends on the circumstances. But, the voters want to see unpredictability. They’re tired of a president that gets up and says every single thing.”
Trump concluded, “I want to protect, but I also want to be reimbursed for the protection. We’re dealing with tremendously wealthy countries, and we’re never reimbursed.”
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