As President Donald Trump defends maintaining close ties to Saudi Arabia, he has repeatedly exaggerated ― by 700 percent ― the value of U.S. weapon sales to Riyadh, yet he has not mentioned the amount of money Saudis have put into his own pocket.
From the first days that Saudi involvement in the disappearance of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi became clear, Trump has attempted to downplay it based on pending arms sales to the kingdom: “$110 billion worth of military,” he said again Thursday. “Those are the biggest orders in the history of this country, probably the history of the world.”
That number, though, is nowhere near accurate. In reality, only $14.5 billion in weapon sales have been approved by the Trump administration and Congress. The remainder is largely aspirational and years away from fruition.