The United States Department of Defense on Tuesday contradicted President Donald Trump's tweets by praising the nation of Qatar for its "enduring commitment to regional stability."
After Saudi Arabia and several other Middle East countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over its alleged support of terrorism early on Tuesday, Trump took to Twitter to praise the Saudis' commitment to fighting extremist ideology.
"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off," the president tweeted. "They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"
The problem is that Qatar is also home to Al-Udeid Airbase, a key base that houses 11,000 American troops and that the U.S. military regularly uses to launch airstrikes against ISIS and other militant groups in the region.
Reuters reports that the Department of Defense on Tuesday issued a statement which said it was "grateful" for the help Qatar has provided that U.S. military, while also praising the government's efforts to help promote "regional stability."
The Pentagon also said that Qatar's dispute with neighboring countries in the region would have no impact on American military operations in the country.
UPDATE: Pentagon says it's grateful to Qatar for support of U.S. military presence and 'enduring commitment to regional security'— Reuters Politics (@Reuters Politics) 1496766331.0
The blowback from Trump's Twitter attack on Qatar reached Congress on Tuesday, as WNYC reporter Todd Zwillich brings word that Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) stood in "stunned silence" after being informed by reporters about the contents of Trump's tweets.