President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday evening his support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, adding that the U.S. was “locked and loaded” to take action after a recent attack on Saudi oil fields.
“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 wrote in his tweet.
(In a subsequent tweet on Monday, Trump insinuated that Iran may have played a role in the attacks.)
Initial reports suggested that at least 10 drones from Houthis rebels in Yemen attacked 19 sites in Saudi Arabia. Some U.S. intelligence experts are hesitant to support that belief, however, CNN reported.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
“This is the handiwork of a sophisticated (most likely State) actor,” said retired Col. Cedric Leighton, an intelligence expert. “The precise nature of the intelligence used to conduct targeting, the mission planning that went into this to avoid radar detection, as well as the selection of the targets shows a robust capability that would most likely be the work of a government or government-sponsored group.”
Still, others cautioned against the president’s rhetoric, suggesting that it was irresponsible and possibly causing the U.S. to lose its military standing in the world.
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, speaking in on interview with CNN’s New Day, said the president is in a dangerous situation presently when it comes to deciding the nation’s national security interests. “He’s more or less moved out everybody that could potentially disagree with him or offer some level of dissent,” he said, per reporting from Raw Story.
Scaramucci also took Trump’s rhetoric on social media to task, comparing it with one of the presidents whose face adorns Mount Rushmore.
“When the leader of the free world continues to use the words locked and loaded, it’s the opposite of somebody like Teddy Roosevelt,” Scaramucci said. “Speak softly and carry a large stick. And this [Trump’s words] is send out military threats over Twitter. It’s a precarious situation. I think it’s very, very serious.”
The former communications director also warned that the president’s words have “less and less of an impact because it’s a predictable level of irrationality from him.”