Those ties are now being called into question over his lack of a tough response to Riyadh since journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi disappeared and was possibly killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allegedly on the orders of the crown prince.
President Donald Trump has had deep business ties to the Saudi Arabian court for more than two decades.
And those ties are now being called into question over his lack of a tough response to Riyadh since journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared and was possibly killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
"Having a President with global business ties means we've got ongoing worries that policy is going to be affected by his business interests," Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, which tracks potential conflicts of interest in the Trump administraition, recently told CNN.
"We know that historically the Saudis have spent huge money on Trump properties and we know that since he became a candidate and was elected they have targeted discretionary spending at his hotels," Weissman added.
Here are some of Trump's ties to Saudi Arabia.
At the time, Trump was almost bankrupt and looking to make some fast cash, reportedly selling the yacht to Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal for one third less than he paid for it.
In 1995, Trump also sold New York City's Plaza Hotel to Alwaleed and Singaporean investors for $325 million. In turn, they sold it nearly a decade later for $675 million. In July, Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding Company re-purchased the Plaza along with a New York-based firm.
In November 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, launched a supposed anti-corruption purge largely seen as a consolidation of his power, arresting several Saudi princes and business leaders.
Alwaleed was one of those MBS had detained, forced to stay at Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton for 83 days. You can read more about that here.
The New York Daily News revealed the sale in September 2016 after Trump had attacked Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the Clinton Foundation accepting money from Saudi Arabia.
"Crooked Hillary says we must call on Saudi Arabia and other countries to stop funding hate," Trump wrote on Facebook in June 2016. "I am calling on her to immediately return the $25 million plus she got from them for the Clinton Foundation!"
But earlier, at a 2015 rally in Alabama, Trump had said: "Saudi Arabia — and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me.
"They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much," Trump added.
After he was elected, Trump's company, the Trump Organization, announced that it had shut down those companies.
Between October 2016 and March 2017, MSL Group Americas, a lobbying group working for the Saudi government, spent $270,000 at Trump International Hotel in DC for lodging, catering and parking.
In June 2017, the Trump Organization announced it would donate all profits from the sales to charity.
In March 2018, the Trump organization said it had donated $151,470 to charity, but ethics experts have challenged the company's calculations of the actual profits.
The Maryland and DC Attorneys general have since filed suit against the president, arguing that the transactions could also violate the Constitution's emoluments clause, which prohibits federal officeholders from receiving anything of value from a foreign state.
Source: Washington Post
Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who visited Saudi Arabia with Trump in 2017, has since withdrawn from an investment meeting in Saudi Arabia planned for next week.
In May 2017, Trump simultaneously touched an odd glowing orb with Saudi King Salman and Egypt's President Sisi, which reportedly symbolized their intentions to combat exremism.
The US had already faced criticism for the arms deal over the Saudi-led coalition's execution of the war against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, which has become one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world.
"For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter)," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!"