Trump vetoes measure to end US military support for Saudis

US President Donald Trump vetoes measure that would have cut off US military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen's civil war.

Elad Benari,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Reuters

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a measure that would have cut off US military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen's civil war.

In a statement to the Senate released by the White House and quoted by The Hill, Trump called the joint resolution "unnecessary" and argued it would negatively affect US foreign policy.

The resolution, which would have required Trump to withdraw any US troops in or "affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting Al-Qaeda, reached the president's desk after it passed the House in a vote of 247-175 earlier this month.

The Senate passed the measure in a vote of 54-46 last month.

Neither the House nor Senate vote was enough to override a veto.

"This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future," Trump said in his statement Tuesday, according to The Hill.

The United States has supported a Saudi-led military coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war with logistics, intelligence sharing and arms sales.

Lawmakers are dissatisfied with Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia, particularly since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, after previously denying Turkish claims that he was murdered. At the same time, the Saudi leadership claimed Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue” operation and denies any connection to the murder.

US lawmakers have called for a stronger US response to Khashoggi’s murder and said that there was “zero question” about the involvement of the Saudi Crown Prince, of whom Khashoggi was a strong critic.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who was the chief Senate sponsor, said he was "disappointed, but not surprised" at Trump's veto.

"The people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs," Sanders tweeted. "I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bi-partisan resolution to end US involvement in the horrific war in Yemen."




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