Trump 'asked Iraqi prime minister for oil as repayment for Iraq War'

'It was a look down and reach for your coffee moment,' White House official says

Tom Embury-Dennis
Tuesday 27 November 2018 11:37 EST
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Donald Trump twice asked Iraq’s prime minister for oil in repayment for America’s invasion of the Middle East country to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003, it has been reported.

The US president first brought the subject up in a meeting with Iraq’s then-leader Haider al-Abadi in March last year, according to Axios.

“Trump says something to the effect of, he gets a little smirk on his face and he says, ‘So what are we going to do about the oil?’” a source in the White House meeting told the US news outlet.

Asked by Mr Al-Abadi what he meant, Mr Trump said, “Well, we did a lot, we did a lot over there, we spent trillions over there, and a lot of people have been talking about the oil,” according to the source.

“It was a look down and reach for your coffee moment,” a second source who was in the room told the site.

Mr Trump again raised the issue with Mr Al-Abadi during a phone call last summer, according to the outlet, and discussed seizing Iraq’s oil with officials in a Situation Room meeting last year.

The 72-year-old was reportedly told by defence secretary James Mattis that such a move would be a violation of international law.

“We do not discuss internal deliberations, and the secretary’s advice and counsel to the president is private,” a Pentagon spokesperson said.

The Independent has contacted the White House for comment.

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