'It is disturbing to see the government of Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House.'
The White House Correspondents' Association slammed the Trump administration on Tuesday for seemingly hiding a meeting with a top Saudi Arabian official, and only announcing that the meeting took place after the Saudis tweeted about it on Tuesday morning.
"Trump met with Saudi Arabia's vice minister of defense at the White House yesterday, but the public did not learn about the meeting until the Saudi government released a statement about it today," WHCA President Jon Karl said in a statement.
"A meeting with a foreign leader in the Oval Office should, at the very least, be on the public schedule with a read-out of the meeting released after it is over," he continued, adding, "It is disturbing to see the government of Saudi Arabia have more transparency than the White House about a meeting with the President in the Oval Office."
Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, tweeted Tuesday morning about the meeting with Trump, including photos of him sitting in the Oval Office next to Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
"Upon directives from HRH the Crown Prince, I had the pleasure of meeting with @RealDonaldTrump yesterday to deliver a message from the Crown Prince, and review aspects of our bilateral cooperation, including efforts to confront regional and international challenges," he tweeted.
Upon directives from HRH the Crown Prince, I had the pleasure of meeting with @RealDonaldTrump yesterday to deliver a message from the Crown Prince, and review aspects of our bilateral cooperation, including efforts to confront regional and international challenges. pic.twitter.com/q7uXlgSjx8
— Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) January 7, 2020
After the Saudis tweeted about the meeting, and the WHCA slammed Trump for not mentioning its existence, Trump finally acknowledged it Tuesday afternoon.
"Had a very good meeting with @kbsalsaud of Saudi Arabia," Trump tweeted. "We discussed Trade, Military, Oil Prices, Security, and Stability in the Middle East!"
Trump's relationship with the Saudis has come under scrutiny, after Trump has been deferential to the oppressive regime, and refused to punish the Saudi government for the intelligence community's assessment that the crown prince ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashoggi.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.