Trump Vetoes Bill to Block Saudi Arms

Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Mandel Ngan/Getty Images


We ran the numbers: There are 385 news articles covering this topic. 20% (76) are left leaning, 64% (248) center, 16% (61) right leaning.


On Wednesday, President Donald Trump vetoed three bipartisan-backed resolutions proposing to block weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, claiming they would "weaken America's global competitiveness and damage the important relationship we share with our allies and partners." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that threats from Iran justify a U.S. decision to ramp up arms funding, but Democrats and Republicans in the Senate banded together to block the sale, citing the Saudis’ conduct in the Yemen conflict and their role in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death. In his veto statement, Trump said the resolutions were ill-timed and ill-conceived, and would do nothing to mitigate the crisis in Yemen. 

Backers of the resolutions included Senators Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

According to our count, of 385 total articles about the veto, a majority (64%) were center-leaning, while 20% were left-leaning and 16% were right-leaning.

Right-leaning sources like Fox News focused on the administration’s reasons for vetoing the effort, while left-leaning sources, such as the Washington Post, zeroed in on the value of the bipartisan bill. The Washington Post emphasized that Trump had pushed through the arms sales in the first place without congressional authorization, citing “emergency authority.”

Fox News’ reporting also explored disagreement about Trump’s decision among Congress members, including Democrat Tim Kaine, who tweeted, “What. Do. They. Have. On. Him???”

Both reliably right-leaning Fox News and reliably left-leaning CNN Politics reported that Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, condemned the arms deals in a statement, denying any such “emergency.” Engel also criticized Trump’s disregard for Congress’ place in government. 

"The President's veto sends a grim message that America's foreign policy is no longer rooted in our core values — namely a respect for human rights — and that he views Congress not as a coequal branch of government, but an irritant to be avoided or ignored," Engel said in a news release, reported by CNN. "Worse still, this veto is going to cost innocent lives. These weapons are going to continue fueling a reckless and brutal campaign of violence and exacerbating the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe."

Centrist source Yahoo! News pulled out a centrist quote to represent the controversy, reporting, “Trump has said that the choice between war and diplomacy with Iran ‘could go either way,’ and that he is ‘okay either way it goes.’”