It was just a week and a half ago that President Donald Trump contradicted his own secretary of state while standing in front of him in the Rose Garden, blasting Qatar for sponsoring terrorism and seeming to take credit for the Saudi-led blockade of the small Arab country. Just hours earlier, Secretary Rex Tillerson had called for restraint and an easing of the blockade.
Today, there was more whiplash.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert slammed Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others for the blockade, questioning its necessity and expressing doubt about the countries' claims.
“Now that it’s been more than 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,” said Nauert.
“The more that 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 about Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism, or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries?” she asked, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council's six member nations.