U.S. President Donald Trump has definitely proved that his views on Saudi Arabia are more than a little confusing.
The new American president met with the kingdom's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday for lunch. An announcement from the White House followed on Wednesday, saying that the two men had agreed on a program that could see more than $200 billion in Saudi investment for U.S. infrastructure and other sectors moving forward.
Following the lunch, Prince Mohammed called Trump a "true friend of Muslims," and defended the president's efforts to ban immigrants from several Muslim majority countries. StepFeed reached out to the Saudi Foreign Ministry for comment on this story but is still waiting for a reply.
From the photo-ops and mutual praise, it looks like the prince and the new president have already become fast friends.
But let's not forget that Trump has been one of the harshest critics of Saudi Arabia in the past. A repeated theme of Trump's campaign rhetoric was attacking his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, for her foundation's willingness to accept Saudi money.
Now, Trump is excitedly touting a $200 billion Saudi investment.
Trump called on Clinton to return Saudi money
Referring to donations from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries received by The Clinton Foundation, an organization founded by Hillary and Bill Clinton along with their daughter Chelsea, Trump called on Clinton to return the money during a televised presidential debate in October, citing human rights concerns:
"It's a criminal enterprise. Saudi Arabia giving $25 million. Qatar, all of these companies. You talk about women and women's rights. So these are people that push gays off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money. So I'd like to ask you right now why don't you give back the money that you have taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don't you give back the money?" Trump said during a televised debate with Hillary Clinton.
But now that Trump is president, it appears he isn't concerned about Saudi money any longer.
Trump strongly supported Americans who want to sue Saudi Arabia
In September, the U.S. congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allows the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. to sue Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has long been accused of involvement in the attack since the majority of the terrorists were Saudi.
Riyadh has consistently denied these accusations and no serious proof has ever been made public to support them.
Trump wholly supported the legislation, blasting President Barack Obama when he vetoed the bill. He called Obama's decision "shameful" and said it would "go down as one of the low points of his presidency."
He said the legislation would give family members of victims the opportunity "to seek justice in an American court of law."
Even though Obama vetoed the bill, Congress garnered enough votes to push through the legislation.
Trump called for ending imports of Saudi oil
During his presidential campaign, Trump threatened to stop purchasing oil from the kingdom.
"Without us, Saudi Arabia wouldn't exist for very long," Trump said.
He also promised to bring about "complete American energy independence" from "our foes and the oil cartels."
After Trump was elected, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih warned that it was a bad idea to block Saudi oil. He also said that he believed Trump would later "see the benefits" and that the "oil industry will also be advising him accordingly that blocking trade in any product is not healthy."
But Trump also previously said he really likes Saudi money
Trump launched several business in Saudi Arabia at the outset of his presidential campaign. He reportedly closed these endeavors following his election and before taking office.
The president also spoke very positively about Saudi money in the past.
"[Saudis] buy apartments from me," Trump said during a campaign rally in 2015.
"They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much," he said.
So, while Trump's position on the kingdom isn't always friendly, his position on Saudi money remains consistent ... as long as it benefits him or his administration.