Biden Criticized Over Mohammed bin Salman Fist Bump In Saudi Arabia
President Joe Biden came under fire for greeting Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who allegedly ordered the murder of a Washington Post journalist with a first bump on Friday.
The president traveled to Saudi to discuss working together to decrease record-high gas prices in the U.S., to which bin Salman agreed to increase the country’s oil capacity to 13 million barrels.
Biden responded to the backlash over the weekend.
“Why don’t you guys talk about something that matters?” Biden asked reporters after returning from his trip. “I’m happy to answer a question that matters.”
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REPORTER: “Do you regret the fist bump, Mr. President?”
JOE BIDEN: “Why don't you guys talk about something that matters? I'm happy to answer a question that matters.” pic.twitter.com/yUnl1N3VA7
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 17, 2022
The fist bump comes after Biden promised to turn Saudi Arabia into a “pariah” during his 2020 presidential campaign over human rights issues.
The journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was assassinated in 2018 as he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents he needed for his upcoming wedding. A U.S. intelligence report found that bin Salman approved the operation that resulted in his murder.
“The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake — it was shameful,” Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan said in a statement. “It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiance, added that Khashoggi would have tweeted, “Hey @POTUS, is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands,” in response to the fist bump.
What Jamal Khashoggi would tweet today: pic.twitter.com/Gv4Up7TLgd
— Hatice Cengiz / خديجة (@mercan_resifi) July 15, 2022
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