Wisconsin: US President Donald Trump reinforced his support for Saudi Arabia on Saturday during a rally at Green Bay here, highlighting that he wouldn't want to "lose" the ally which purchased goods to the tune of USD 450 billion from the United States.
"They have nothing but cash, right? They buy a lot from us, USD 450 billion they bought," Al Jazeera quoted the US President as claiming.
"You had people wanting to cut off Saudi Arabia...I don't want to lose them," he added.
The US-Saudi Arabia relations came under the scanner recently following the murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Many criticised Trump for siding with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was found to be involved in the scribe's killing by a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report.
Saudi Arabia has strongly refuted such reports, reiterating that the Crown prince was not involved in Khashoggi's killing in any way.
At the rally, the US President also described a recent phone call he had with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
"We lose USD 4.5 billion on a country to defend them, and they're rich. So I called them. I said listen, no good. They were in a state of shock because they've never got a call like this in 25 years, right," Trump said to a cheering crowd.
"I said we're losing USD 4.5 billion every year, we can't do this anymore. This is crazy. He (King Salman) got very upset, angry, said this is not fair. I said, of course, this is fair. He said we'll give you USD 500 million more...I said I want more. We argued. So they paid us more than USD 500 million for one phone call, it took me one call," he stated.
Trump then recollected how the Saudi King asked why the US President made the call as "nobody had made such a call".
"That's because they were stupid!" Trump exclaimed during his address.