Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia which came months ago was the reason Saudi Arabia imposed bans against Qatar.
Speaking at a conference on Monday, Bannon said Trump’s summit with Arab leaders in Riyadh set in motion the regional blockade against Qatar.
Back in June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt announced a boycott against Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups and having ties with Iran.
“We went into the summit with UAE, Saudi Arabia and others; the number one thing was that we must take care of this financing of radical Islam, and there can be no more - as president Trump said - no more games,” Bannon said.
“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t on one side say you’re a friend and an ally and on the other side be financing the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas,” he added, pointing to Qatar.
The senior U.S. strategist also said Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia showed that the U.S. President is willing to engage with the Muslim world, demonstrating that he is not “Islamophobic”.
Trump has been widely criticized for his Islamophobic rhetoric and for imposing an entry ban on 6 Muslim-majority countries to fight “terrorism”.