Via America’s Lawyer: President Biden has spent months disavowing US ties with Saudi Arabia, so why is a $650 million arms deal now back on the table? Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             A major arms deal is on the way for Saudi Arabia, a sign that president Biden is not gonna be keeping a major campaign promise. Farron Cousins from trial lawyer magazine joins me to talk about it. You know, this is a big surprise because I remember the big campaign was he was beating on Trump how Saudi Arabia, you know, dirtbag pariah and they are, and now his promise was, well, we’re gonna start taking their money away from ’em. And now that seems to have changed overnight, huh?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, absolutely. And in fact, you and I sat here 10 months ago actually and we talked about how he was canceling the arms deal because that was the big announcement. He said, we are not going through with this. It’s completely off the table. And then as the year went on and of course there’s been plenty of other distractions for him, it quietly took place behind the scenes and what’s even worse is that you had all of these Democratic lawmakers who had opposed the plan under Donald Trump, were very outspoken about it. He even got them to go a along with it now. You know, so now instead of this big wall of opposition, it’s slowly crumbling and these people who were never gonna be okay with the arms deal are now saying, well it’s okay because Saudi Arabia has to defend themselves.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Is their reasoning now.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, let’s call out some names. Michael Bennet, Democrat from Colorado. We can’t sell them anymore arms. Remember this? They’re killing people. That it’s, it’s, it’s insanity over there. Now, oh yeah. We’re gonna vote for exactly the same thing that he was speaking against. I mean, there’s Bob Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, same thing. Klobuchar from Minnesota.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             All these Democrats who were saying, this is the worst idea to arm these people who were, were involved with the Khashoggi incident. We knew the Saudi prince over there is a nut job. He is a total lunatic. And we said, we can’t sell him anymore. But not, that’s all changed overnight, huh?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and, and it’s even more terrifying too, because we’ve also had plenty of very credible reports over the years that some of the weapons we are selling to Saudi Arabia are ending up in the hands of the very terrorists who are turning around and killing Americans in the Middle East. So we’re selling them to Saudi Arabia. They’re, you know, we can’t say for certain because obviously we don’t know, but somehow Saudi Arabia is letting the bad guys get their hands on these weapons and they’re killing us with them.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. And what we’re gonna see is all the, the, the weapons industry talking heads all over MSNBC, all over CNN because that’s who they hire.

Farron Cousins:                  Yep.

Mike Papantonio:             They hire people directly from the weapons industry to come on the air and talk about how this is such a great idea, even though virtually, I mean the Democrats were a block.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Almost totally against the idea of doing this and all of a sudden it’s different. As you pointed out, their argument is, ah, well now we understand. Now this is gonna be done so Saudi Arabia can protect themselves from the evil Yemen rebels, right?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and, and one of them specifically mentioned, we’ve gotta protect the oil flow coming from Saudi Arabia. So they’re given up the game here. They’re very transparent. We want their oil and so we’re gonna have to continue to appease them by giving them these weapons every year, every couple of years, whatever it is. And, and they’re using them again, we know what they’re carrying out in Yemen. They are killing children. They are killing innocent civilians. But this is.

Mike Papantonio:             By the tens of thousands, by the way.

Farron Cousins:                  Right, and this is not a defensive move by Saudi Arabia at all. This is absolutely Saudi Arabia going on the offensive in Yemen. We also know, as you pointed out, what they did with Khashoggi. We, we know about the human rights abuses they do with their own citizens.

Mike Papantonio:             Look, this prince is a lunatic. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Do you understand that there’s some writers that have said that they suspect that he was watching Khashoggi be dismembered, that they had a two-way video and this idiot, this, this little freak that’s put himself in charge of Saudi Arabia was sitting there watching it. Uh, yeah. Let’s, let’s sell ’em weapons.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.