Fox News host Laura Ingraham pressed President Donald Trump about whether it’s time to pull U.S. troops from Iraq.
During an Oval Office interview that aired on “The Ingraham Angle” Friday night, Ingraham brought up Iraq’s stated desire for a U.S. troop withdrawal as well as a campaign promise the president ran on in 2016:
“The Iraqi Prime Minister has notified Mike Pompeo about potential plans, drawing up plans for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq period. You ran on pulling out of the Middle East,” said the Fox News host. “Why not use this opportunity to say we’re done?”
“I’m OK. I’m OK with it,” Trump said. “By the way, listen …”
“You’re OK with removing our troops from Iraq … pulling out of the Middle East?” Ingraham asked.
“That’s what they say publicly,” Trump said. “They don’t say that privately. Because if we leave, that means they’re not going to be able to …” (RELATED: Tucker Carlson Lets Trump In 2007 Make The Case For Why It’s Time To Leave Iraq)
“But why not leave?” Ingraham pressed.
“I’m not so bad with it,” Trump responded before noting that he has brought down troop levels and that the troops there are there to train Iraqi forces. “But if they want us to leave — but they speak different publicly than they do privately.”
The Fox News host continued to press, commenting on the fact that more U.S. forces are headed to the country “as we speak.” To which Trump responded that Saudi Arabia is “paying us for it.”
“They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank,” he said. “We are going to help them, but these rich countries have to pay for it. South Korea gave us $500 million.”
Trump told Ingraham later that Iraq should also pay, to which Ingraham asked: “How are you going to collect?”
“Well, we have a lot of their money right now,” Trump said. “We have a lot of their money. We have $35 billion of their money right now sitting in an account. And I think they’ll agree to pay. I think they’ll agree to pay. Otherwise we’ll stay there.”