Trump and Saudi Arabia stay close after Pensacola shooting

President Trump relayed a message from King Salman of Saudi Arabia stating that the Saudi people are "greatly angered" by the actions of the Pensacola shooter.

Posted: Dec 9, 2019 3:36 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2019 8:45 AM


President Donald Trump appears to be maintaining his support of Saudi Arabia in the wake of a deadly shooting at a US naval base allegedly perpetrated by a Saudi national -- a crime the FBI presumes is an act of terrorism.

Last Friday, Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force and a student naval flight officer, opened fire in a classroom building at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, killing three sailors. Alshamrani was killed after two deputies exchanged gunfire with him.

Alshamrani's motive for the attack is still undetermined, but the FBI is operating with 'the presumption that this was an act of terrorism,' as they do in most similar cases.

The kingdom is often slow to offer official responses, especially on a Friday, which is considered the holiest day of the week in Saudi Arabia. But the same day of the shooting, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud spoke to Trump over the phone. He also quickly instructed his own security services to cooperate fully with US investigators. Lawyers from Saudi Arabia have also been sent to Florida.

Trump relayed that the king's Friday message to him was that 'the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.'

And on Sunday, Trump spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. According to the White House's readout of the call, the prince 'reiterated Saudi Arabia's commitment to working with the United States to prevent a horrific attack like the Pensacola shooting from ever happening again. The President thanked the Crown Prince for Saudi Arabia's assistance with the investigation and continued partnership.'

Adding to the Saudi response, a high-ranking Saudi defense attache is also traveling to Pensacola to meet with US officials involved in the shooting probe as tension between the countries is rising over the continued restriction to the base of up to a dozen Saudi nationals, a person familiar with the case said.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday confirmed one or two Saudi nationals filmed the Pensacola attack. It is not clear why they were filming it, he said. Esper said some Saudi friends of shooter Alshamrani were detained after the incident, and that one or two of those friends filmed the attack.

The Saudi nationals have been generally cooperating but have made requests to leave their confinement on the military base. The FBI said Sunday that they have been restricted to base by their Saudi commanding officer.

Questions still remain about what they knew about the shooter, and whether they had any advance knowledge that an attack was coming, the source familiar with the case said.

Despite major incidents seeming to highlight rising tensions in the last two years, leaders of the allied nations have appeared to stay close.

Trump maintained support of Saudi Arabia even as details of the 2018 murder and dismemberment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi emerged. Khashoggi was allegedly killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by men with close ties to the highest levels of the Saudi government and bin Salman.

Although the CIA has concluded that the crown prince personally ordered Khashoggi's murder, Trump signaled he would not take strong action against Saudi Arabia, a key US ally, or its crown prince, despite pressure at home and internationally.

And throughout his presidency, Trump has also highlighted his bond with the Saudis and praised their purchase of US weapons.

Many of the weapons systems the kingdom purchases are made in the USA, from fighter jets to helicopters to machine guns. In recent years, the purchases have increased significantly as Saudi Arabia is now the world's third-largest defense and security spender, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

CNN has previously reported that some of these American-made weapons have been transferred to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other factions at war in Yemen -- in violation of their agreements with the United States.

Congress has tried to ban these types of weapons sales. Trump has vetoed these efforts.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 190804

Reported Deaths: 2528
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37830583
Washington25279229
Marion21739306
Clackamas17107209
Lane12799145
Jackson10716135
Deschutes866973
Umatilla814084
Linn479867
Yamhill441175
Klamath430861
Polk369952
Malheur349861
Josephine330268
Douglas322070
Benton302619
Jefferson216734
Coos204633
Columbia170526
Union144423
Lincoln137020
Wasco137028
Hood River117930
Morrow110015
Crook106520
Clatsop9738
Baker94614
Curry6459
Tillamook6363
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3378
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3757115

Reported Deaths: 62280
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123542224008
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2965144697
San Diego2777593725
Orange2707055005
Santa Clara1188512085
Kern1089931373
Sacramento1041761672
Fresno1016251684
Alameda875851545
Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68503804
Stanislaus619161055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41844568
San Francisco36616543
Santa Barbara34306453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29975318
Imperial28352721
Kings22965246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16439242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14034228
Yolo13875209
Shasta12071226
Butte11943199
El Dorado10111112
Napa984981
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604863
Lassen569824
Tehama555358
Nevada470775
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365147
Lake346743
Glenn238125
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
Del Norte13678
Mono12804
Plumas7066
Modoc4954
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned330
Medford
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 47°
Brookings
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 54°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 47°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 33°
Quiet Mother's Day Weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Saturday, May 8th Evening Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Morning Weather

Image

Friday, May 7th Evening Weather

Image

Oregon Dept. of Education: Grants Pass SD

Image

Friday, May 7 morning weather

Image

Oregon Dept. of Education: Phoenix-Talent SD

Image

Medford Police Livability Team begins the process of cleaning up the Greenway

Image

Thursday, May 6th Evening Weather

Image

Thursday, May 6 morning weather

Image

Wednesday, May 5th Evening Weather