WASHINGTON—Expressing a sense of betrayal over the Middle Eastern country not coming to them first, U.S. officials told reporters Thursday they were hurt that Saudi Arabia would try to develop its own nuclear weapon rather than just asking nicely for one from America.

“We would have been glad to help them out, but when they go behind our backs like this and learn yellowcake extraction techniques from the Chinese—well, it feels pretty awful,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, adding that the United States couldn’t assist the Saudis’ rise as a nuclear power if they kept their pursuit of fissile materials all to themselves.

“If they had simply mentioned it during arms negotiations, we would have happily thrown in a miniaturized nuclear warhead, maybe even an ICBM to sweeten the pot. What hurts most is that they felt they couldn’t be open and honest with us. I keep asking myself, did we do something wrong? We’ve never said no to any of their requests for weapons in the past.”

At press time, Pompeo reportedly tried to patch things up by sending Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a care package of uranium centrifuge blueprints.

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