U.S. President Donald Trump twice raised to the Iraqi government the idea of repaying America for its wars with Iraqi oil, Axios reported with reference to sources with direct knowledge.
In March 2017, 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.
Trump's national security team has mostly pushed back on or ignored these desires to raid Middle Eastern natural resources, according to Axios. The president raised the issue of oil again with al-Abadi on a phone call in the summer of 2017. The conversation was vague and didn’t go anywhere, but former National Security Adviser Herbert McMaster admonished Trump afterward, according to a source with direct knowledge.
On the campaign trail, Trump complained that the U.S. had spent more than $7 trillions in Iraq and lost thousands of lives but got "nothing" in return. He lamented that usually in war "to the victor belong the spoils" and he repeatedly said the U.S. should have seized Iraq's oilfields as reimbursement for the steep costs of the war.