Tags: donald trump | oil | iraq | war

Axios: Trump Asked Iraq For Oil to Defray Costs of War

iraqi laborers work at the rumaila oil refinery in zubair near the city of basra, iraq.

(Nabil al-Jurani/AP)

By    |   Sunday, 25 November 2018 10:22 PM

President Donald Trump during a meeting with then-Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi earlier this year brought up the idea of Iraq repaying the United States for the steep costs of war with its oil, Axios reported on Sunday.

This is the first time it has been known that Trump actually raised the issue as president. The idea violates all international norms, according to Axios, and Trump hgave up on the notion after top aides repeatedly told him it would harm American interests.

A source described to Axios what happened in March 2017 during a meeting with Al-Abadi.

"Right at the end, Trump says something to the effect of, he gets a little smirk on his face and he says, 'So what are we going to do about the oil?'" the source said, adding that Al-Abadi responded that "we work very closely with a lot of American companies and American energy companies have interests in our country.'" 

A second source who was in the room confirmed the account, saying, "It was a look down and reach for your coffee moment."

Trump raised the issue again with al-Abadi on a phone call later that summer.

Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster slammed Trump for bringing up the matter, according to a source, who said McMaster told the president that talking about it is “bad for America's reputation, it'll spook allies, it scares everybody, and it makes us look like [criminals].”

Two other sources also said the topic came up in the Situation Room in 2017 and that Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed back, arguing similar points that McMaster did, mainly that it would violate international law, demoralize allies and hand propaganda points to American enemies.

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President Donald Trump during a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister earlier this year brought up the idea of Iraq repaying the United States for the steep costs of war with its oil, Axios reported on Sunday.
donald trump, oil, iraq, war
283
2018-22-25
Sunday, 25 November 2018 10:22 PM
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