President Donald Trump said that the United States was “locked and loaded” and ready to do anything Saudi Arabia wants after a drone strike on a Saudi oil field Saturday.
On Saturday, 19 Saudi targets including oil facilities were hit. Saudi officials claim that Iranian weapons were used in the attack and US officials have also pointed the finger at Iran, as oil futures spiked after the attack.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for the attack, which disrupted 5% of the global oil supply. US officials have said that the attack did not originate in Yemen.
Trump offered to do anything Saudi Arabia wanted to do on Twitter.
"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Trump tweeted Sunday.
Administration tries to walk back remarks:
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short attempted to downplay Trump’s comments, arguing that “locked and loaded” was not necessarily a reference to military action.
"I think that locked and loaded is a broad term and talks about the realities that we're all far safer and more secure domestically from energy independence," Short said, according to CNN. "This is not the 1970s oil embargo. It's not 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. We're now a net oil exporter which means that the American market is much better protected."
"There's no doubt that Iran has been a malign actor on the stage here and has been supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen, but I think there's certainly greater evidence that he'll be sharing that directly ties these attacks to Iran," he added.
Iran has denied that they were behind the attack.
"Such blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless," said Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, according to CNN. "Even hostility needs a certain degree of credibility and reasonable frameworks, US officials have also violated these basic principles."
Tulsi Gabbard calls Trump ‘Saudi Arabia’s bitch’:
2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard lashed out at Trump’s tweet.
“Trump awaits instructions from his Saudi masters,” the anti-war candidate wrote. “Having our country act as Saudi Arabia's bitch is not ‘America First.’”
Trump was also not a fan of the US fighting Saudi Arabia’s wars, at least before he became the president.
“Saudi Arabia should fight their own wars,” he tweeted in 2014, “which they won’t, or pay us an absolute fortune to protect them and their great wealth-$ trillion!”