“I’m not going to meet with MBS,” Biden said, according to CNBC. “I’m going to an international meeting, and he’s going to be part of it.” That clearly wasn’t the case — and blowback was harsh and immediate. That’s why it was a stunner when Biden laughed off criticism — with a touch of heartlessness, it must be said — when a reporter noted the president was “coming under a lot of fire for your fist bump with the [Saudi] crown prince.” “I just wanted to give you a chance to respond to that,” the reporter continued. “How can you be sure that another incident, another murder like Jamal Khashoggi’s won’t happen again?” “Well — God love you. What a silly question,” Biden responded. “How could I possibly be sure of any of that? I just made it clear if anything occurs like that again, they’ll get that response and much more.”
Biden fist bumps with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as meetings get underway in Jeddah pic.twitter.com/jtdgUYmliD— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) July 15, 2022
According to a White House transcript, Biden went on to compare the situation to how he deals with China. “Look, you’ve heard me say before — and when I criticized Xi Jinping for slave labor and what they’re doing in the — in the western mountains of China, and they said I had no right to criticize China. And I said, ‘Look, I am president of the United States of America. For the United States President to remain silent on a clear violation of human rights is totally inconsistent with who we are, what we are, and what we would do, what we believe. And so I’m not going to remain silent. [firefly_poll] “Can I predict anything is going to happen, let alone here, let alone in any other part of the world? No,” he continued. “But I don’t know why you’re all so surprised the way I react. No one has ever wondered did I mean what I say. The question is I sometimes say all that I mean.” Earlier in the news conference, Biden said that, with regard to Khashoggi’s murder, “I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now.” However, this position was significantly different than the one he offered during a Democratic debate in 2019, when asked about how he would deal with Saudi Arabia after the murder of Khashoggi. At the time, even though the CIA had concluded bin Salman had ordered the brutal 2018 slaying of Khashoggi — a Washington Post columnist who had been critical of the Saudi regime — then-President Donald Trump’s administration had maintained normal relations with Riyadh. “Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince,” Biden said during the debate, according to a Washington Post transcript. “And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are. There’s very little social redeeming value of the — in the present government in Saudi Arabia.” What Biden has found, however, is that there is redeeming diplomatic value in the present government in Saudi Arabia, particularly when political expediency demands ramped-up oil production abroad. That said, a one-on-one meeting, combined with a fist-bump, is probably a bit too much — something both Khashoggi’s fiancee and his former employer noted. Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, retweeted a photo of the fist bump along with a mock tweet from Khashoggi’s Twitter account: “Hey @POTUS. Is this the accountability you promised for my murder. This blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands,” it read. “What Jamal Khashoggi would tweet today,” she wrote.
“You’re coming under a lot of fire for your fist bump with the [Saudi] crown prince.”BIDEN: *laughs* “How can you be sure that another murder…won’t happen again?” BIDEN: “What a silly question.” pic.twitter.com/UqlmMDvFqG — RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 15, 2022
In a statement, Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of the decidedly pro-Biden Washington Post, said that “[t]he fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake — it was shameful. It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been so desperately seeking.” wants cheap oil. That’s how a “pariah” state becomes a fist-bump buddy. In both cases, Biden was being straightforward. He’s just moving straightforwardly in totally opposite directions, which is unsurprising in a man whose moral compass is so defective. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
What Jamal Khashoggi would tweet today: pic.twitter.com/Gv4Up7TLgd— Hatice Cengiz / خديجة (@mercan_resifi) July 15, 2022