Off the Record

Greta: Does Obama really care about the violence in the South Sudan?

'Off the Record', 12/23/13: Flashback to behind the scenes - when South Sudan's president said privately that he believed Pres. Obama only cared about the South Sudan if it was politically convenient


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a second. In election year 2012, I was in South Sudan with Reverend Franklin Graham and his organization, Samaritan's Purse, has been doing humanitarian work in South Sudan and has been doing so for years. We were invited by South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, to his palace for dinner.

During the course of that dinner, the president said that he had very much wanted President Obama to succeed because of the president's African-American heritage, and he was deeply disappointed with President Obama. At the time of our dinner and for months and months previously, Sudan and South Sudan were vicious feuding over many things, including oil. The president was not happy that he had not heard from President Obama. That is, until shortly before our dinner.

Only after the president surprised the world and suddenly turned off the Sudan oil fields, which then according to the president prompted for the first time a personal call from President Obama. President Obama asked President Kiir to turn the oil fields back on.

President Kiir in his conversation with us accused President Obama of only calling him for President Obama's own political purposes. The president said that China got a good bit of its oil from South Sudan. When the president turned off the South Sudan oil fields, China was forced to go to the international oil market to buy oil, which then drove up the price of oil on the international market, which then caused the price to group here in the United States and president emphasized this was during President Obama's re-election campaign 2012. President Kiir accused President Obama of caring north about foreign policy problems but only about his own re-election.

Now, a word of caution: I don't have the Obama administration's side of this conversation, but I am merely reporting what South Sudan President Kiir told us. That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight. If you have an important story or issue you think I should take "Off the Record," go to and tell us about it.