Biden to reporter asking if he regrets MBS fist bump: ‘Why don’t you guys talk about something that matters?’
President Biden was asked on Sunday if he regretted fist-bumping Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon returning from his trip to the Middle East.
“Why don’t you guys talk about something that matters? I’m happy to answer a question that matters,” Biden said.
SAUDI ARABIA AGREES TO INCREASE OIL PRODUCTION LEVELS, WILL HELP ‘STABILIZE MARKETS,’ WHITE HOUSE SAYS
The president laughed off a similar question on Friday.
The White House announced on Friday that Saudi Arabia agreed to increase oil production, saying that the move will “stabilize markets considerably.”
US President Joe Biden (L) being welcomed by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) at Alsalam Royal Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on July 15, 2022.
(Royal Court of Saudi Arabia / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The president also responded to a question about the Saudi Arabian foreign minister who denied hearing Biden confronting MBS about Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
“The Saudi Foreign Minister said he didn’t hear you accuse the Crown Prince of Khashoggi’s murder. Is he telling the truth?” a reporter asked.
Biden said the foreign minister was not telling the truth.
Biden told reporters he told MBS that he thought he was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder during a press conference on Friday.
“With respect to the murder of Khashoggi, I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think about it now,” Biden said.
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One for a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, July 12, 2022, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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He added that MBS said “he was not personally responsible for it.”
“I indicated that he was, and he said he was not personally responsible for it and he took action against those who were responsible,” Biden continued.
The Saudi Arabian minister told Fox News’ Alex Hogan that he “didn’t hear that particular phrase.”
U.S. President Joe Biden announces the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a coordinated effort with other major economies to help ease rising gas prices as he delivers remarks on the economy and "lowering prices," during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
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Washington Post CEO Fred Ryan said Friday that the president’s decision to fist bump to MBS 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 desperately seeking,” Ryan wrote.
Ryan criticized the administration’s decision to meet with MBS in an op-ed for the Post, saying that it “erodes our moral authority.”