Donald Trump “may not have known” that Qatar is home to the biggest U.S. military base in the Middle East when he praised Gulf nations for severing diplomatic relations with the nation, MSNBC reports.
Brian Williams on @MSNBC says a source tells him and @NicolleDWallace they're not sure Trump knew there were Americans stationed in Qatar.— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin) 1496942212.0
MSNBC reporting White House sources says Trump "may not have known" the US has troops based in Qatar.— Simon Marks (@Simon Marks) 1496940654.0
Trump on Monday praised the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain , Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the Maldives to cut off ties with the Doha, a move reportedly sparked by a fake news story Qatar officials have emphatically denied.
The president appeared to champion the severed diplomatic ties in a series of tweets on Tuesday,
During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1496750795.0
So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding...— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1496756210.0
...extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1496756695.0
That tweetstorm prompted a rapid escalation as Qatar feared a military incursion from Saudi Arabia. In a phone call Wednesday, Trump reached out to the Qatari Emir to offer the administration’s assistance in smoothing out relations with other Middle Eastern nations. As CNN reports, the olive branch came as US officials warned Qatar was placing its police force on the highest level of alert.
Qatar is home to Al Udeid Air Base, one of the most crucial stations in the fight against ISIS. It houses around 11,000 U.S. troops.