On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert strongly criticized Saudi Arabia and its allies for their policy of isolating Qatar. “Now that it’s been over two weeks since the embargo started, we are mystified that the Gulf States have not released to the public, nor to the Qataris, the details about the claims that they are making toward Qatar,” Nauert said. “The more time goes by, the more doubt is raised about the actions taken by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. At this point we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries?”
The following day, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated this request for the GCC countries to explain their actions. At a rally on Wednesday night in Iowa, however, President Donald Trump contradicted this line by praising Saudi Arabia’s position on Qatar, saying it was good that the Saudis are “fighting.”
As with other areas of foreign policy, such as America’s commitment to NATO, Trump is creating a dilemma for world governments. They have to figure out who really speaks for America, the president or the State Department? America has a schizophrenic foreign policy right now, thanks to a feckless president given to spouting off as he pleases.