President Trump twice raised to the Iraqi prime minister the idea of repaying America for its wars with Iraqi oil, a highly controversial ask that runs afoul of international norms and logic, according to sources with direct knowledge.
Trump appears to have finally given up on this idea, but until now it hasn’t been revealed that as president he’s raised the concept twice with Iraq’s prime minister and brought it up separately in the Situation Room with his national security team.
In March last year, at the end of a White House meeting with Iraq’s then-Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Trump brought up the subject of taking oil from Iraq to reimburse the United States for the costs of the war there.
“It was a very run-of-the-mill, low-key, meeting in general,” a source who was in the room told Axios. “And then right at the end, Trump says something to the effect of, he gets a little smirk on his face and he says, ‘So what are we going to do about the oil?'”