President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to accept foreign help in the 2020 presidential election -- but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be getting help from Russia.
The Washington Post reports that multiple Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia, have been ramping up influence campaigns in the hopes of changing the American political landscape in the 2020 election.
While Iran has been pushing anti-Trump messages, both Israeli and Saudi operations have shown a preference for keeping Trump in power, according to researchers who spoke with the Post.
“There’s still this pro-Trump message coming from Saudi Twitter, and I don’t think that’s likely to change,” security researcher Marc Owen Jones tells the Post. “They view Trump’s reelection as key to their own survival."
Trump has closely allied American interests with Saudi Arabia, and earlier this week he vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have blocked U.S. arms sales to the country for its role in perpetuating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi government officials last year.
A spokesman for the Saudi embassy, however, tells the Post that "Saudi Arabia does not interfere in anyway in the domestic affairs of other countries" and that "it considers this noninterference principle to be a pillar of the rules-based international order."