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Social media users outraged by Trump tweets in support of Saudi purge

Trump tweeted in support of Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince following a round-up of members of the Saudi elite
US President Donald Trump with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh (AFP)

US president Donald Trump's tweet in support of Saudi Arabia's move to purge members of the kingdom's elite sparked controversy among observers on social media.

I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing....

Trumps' tweet came after Saudi forces surrounded the compounds of several prominent princes and businessmen across the Gulf kingdom, in a move to clamp down on corruption. 

Under the auspices of a newly formed anti-corruption committee, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, prominent Saudi princes and businessmen were detained and are now being held in the lavish Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

Social media users were quick to respond to what many observers considered an endorsement of ‘extra-judicial arrests’.

Among those held are Prince Mitaib bin Abdullah, head of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, billionaire tycoon Al-Waleed bin Talal, Abdullah al-Sultan, who is commander of the Saudi Navy, and Khalid al-Mulheim, the former director general of Saudi Arabian airlines. 

Following the round-up, social media users in the kingdom shared both outrage at the moves, and support for MbS.

A number of hashtags gathered support on twitter in Arabic, including #Muhammad_binSalman's_supporters and #HouseArrest. 

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