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Saudi Arabia stroked Trump's ego. Now he is doing their bidding with Qatar

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n Monday, Saudi Arabia and three of its allies cut off diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar, a tiny, energy-rich emirate in the Persian gulf. The Saudis moved to punish and isolate Qatar for its support of Islamist groups and its refusal to go along with a Saudi-led campaign against Iran. By Tuesday, Donald Trump took to Twitter – and he made the crisis between two US allies a lot worse.

In a series of morning tweets, Trump took credit for instigating Saudi Arabia and its allies to sever relations with Qatar and to impose a blockade, sealing the emirate’s only border and cutting off air and sea travel.

He mentioned his visit to Saudi Arabia last month, where he called on a gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders to isolate Iran and to cut off funding for extremist groups. “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology,” Trump wrote. “Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!”

Instead of offering to play peacemaker, as two of his top national security aides had done hours after the crisis erupted, Trump unequivocally sided with Saudi Arabia and its main ally, the United Arab Emirates.

Clearly, Saudi leaders are playing Trump, exploiting the grandiose reception they gave him last month after he decided to make the kingdom the first stop on his maiden foreign trip as president. By the end of his two-day visit, Trump had become Saudi Arabia’s cheerleader and he aligned US foreign policy with the kingdom’s vision of the Middle East.

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