As the administration seeks to denuclearize North Korea and Iran, President Donald Trump is sending military detail to Saudi Arabia and South Korea, two of their primary rivals, and having them pay for it.
And the numbers are lucrative, totaling $1.5 billion thus far and more to come, he said.
"We are sending more to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is paying us for it," Trump told host Laura Ingraham on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" on Friday. "You know, we're doing something that nobody's ever done.
"I said to Saudi Arabia – we have a very good relationship – I said, 'listen, you're a very rich country. You want more troops. I'm going to send them to you, but you've got to pay us.
"They're paying us. They've already deposited $1 billion in the bank."
It has been a Trump administration-led effort to get other countries to pay more for the security the NATO, the U.N., and the U.S. provides with its world-class military forces, technology, and equipment.
"We are going to help them, but these rich countries have to pay for it," Trump said. "South Korea gave us $500 million. They never gave us anything.
"You've got to help us along. We have 42,000 soldiers in South Korea, protecting you from North Korea. You've got to pay."
Trump suggested the selling of military detail might not have been widely reported yet, especially with South Korea, which Trump added has been beating us in trade.
"I'm not sure anybody knows it," Trump said. "I might be sort of saying you have, I mean it's good stuff.
"They paid us $500 million. They're going to pay us a lot more."
In a related topic, Trump reiterated his desire for Iraq to repay the U.S. for their airport facilities and general nation-building initiatives.
"We built one of the world's most expensive airport facilities anywhere in the world," Trump said. "I mean, I wish we had it in New York. I wish we had it in Washington. We build runways that are 15,000 feet long. At LaGuardia, they're 7,000 feet long. In fact, I think they're 20,000 feet long over there, and deep thick concrete and steal.
"Nobody ever built runways like this. OK, it's way overbuilt, but that's OK."
"I think they'll agree to pay, otherwise, we'll stay there," he added, referring to debates over withdrawing troops from Iraq.
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