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Trump Praises Saudi Crown Prince For Incarcerating Political Opponents

Recently, Saudi Arabia has been at the center of a series of major events that highlight an ongoing political upheaval being staged by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

The 32-year-old monarch has launched an aggressive campaign to consolidate power that has already had far-reaching, bloody consequences.

Over the weekend, he ordered the arrest of dozens of high-ranking Saudi officials, including 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of former ministers, as part of an anti-corruption purge, according to The Washington Post.

That was only the beginning.

“The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable,” a royal decree read, putting Prince Mohammed bin Salman in charge of the new anti-corruption body.

This weekend, Saudi Arabia was rocked by the arrests of at least 11 high ranking royals and government ministers, ostensibly for the purposes of ridding the country of corruption but widely seen as a purge directed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to eliminate rivals to his power.

It’s a move as undemocratic as it is ruthless and yet one praised by President Donald Trump (tweets below).

Bin Salman, also known as MBS, was named the successor to his father, King Salman, in June and has swiftly made broad changes to consolidate all authority under his own purview.

The sudden incarceration of the Saudi ruling class leaves a power vacuum that MBS has personally purported to fill. Already serving as the world’s youngest defense minister, MBS will now oversee the kingdom’s ministries of economy, planning, and finance.

The consolidation of power is everything the United States was founded to reject, and Trump’s embrace of the strong-arm tactics are more than just emblematic of his lock her up attacks and unabashed praise for tyrants like Vladimir Putin.

Trump has been doing business with the Saudi royal family for a quarter of a century, selling an $18 million yacht in 1991 to a Saudi prince who, four years later, assembled a group of Singaporean investors to buy Trump’s Plaza Hotel for $325 million.

As if the conflict of interest is not bad enough, Trump is also praising the authoritarian power grab in Saudi Arabia, casting aside any pretense of democratic values, almost like wishing he could do the same in the United States.

“I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing…Some of those they are harshly treating have been “milking” their country for years!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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