Speed Reads

Wording matters

Trump suggested the Saudis will dictate U.S. military actions. Many disapprove, including 2014 Trump.

President Trump had some pretty belligerent language Sunday about the perpetrators of an attack Saturday on Saudi Arabia's state oil company, Saudi Aramco, saying the U.S. is "locked and loaded depending on verification" of the "culprit," but "are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!" Trump didn't identify the suspected culprit, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed the finger at Iran. Iran denies any involvement, and Yemen's Houthi rebels, frequently bombed by the Saudis, claimed responsibility.

The idea that the U.S. should attack another country, presumably Iran, if Saudi Arabia thinks that's what should be done, because the Saudi oil supply was disrupted, didn't sit well with everyone, including — but not onlyDemocrats.

But Trump would likely have disapproved, too, a few years ago.

Things have been tense in the region for months, with oil tankers attacked or seized as the U.S. seeks to strangle Iran's oil exports. "Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg," warned Iranian Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh. "When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding."