Brian Williams Says Trump May Not Have Known About US Troops Based in Qatar

President Donald Trump grabbed headlines on Tuesday with a series of tweets that appeared to support the moves of numerous Gulf states to isolate Qatar. Now, MSNBC’s Brian Williams is suggesting that the president may not have known the full implications of his statements.

Qatar is home to the U.S. Air Force’s Al Udeid Air Base. But the president may not have even known the U.S. had troops in the country, according to Williams.

He made the assertion shortly after former FBI Director James Comey finished his Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee:

“I would love to know what the president’s dealings with the situation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia was today because he almost set the region on fire on Twitter. A person familiar with his thinking told us both yesterday they’re not sure the president knew there were Americans stationed in Qatar.”

Task and Purpose, a news site geared toward American veterans, summarized the role of Al Udeid Air Base earlier this week:

Qatar is home to Al Udeid Air Base, CENTCOM’s forward headquarters in the Middle East and a crucial hub for the U.S. air campaign against ISIS. Home to 11,000 U.S. and coalition service members and up to 120 aircraft — including the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s legendary combat airpower and, as of 2016, B-52s dropping bombs on suspected jihadists — the base is home to a $60 million Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) that oversees U.S. airpower in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and 18 other nations throughout the region.

Trump extended a White House invitation to the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on Wednesday in hopes of stemming the growing diplomatic crisis in the region.

Trump met with the emir during a May trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It’s currently unclear whether Trump was aware of the existence of Al Udeid Air Base prior to that meeting.

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