‘Pariah’ No More: Joe Biden Defends Meeting with Crown Prince MBS as Saudis Laugh


President Joe Biden defended his meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday, attempting to reassure critics that he brought up the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi during the meeting.

“I raised it at the top of the meeting making it clear what I thought about it at the time and what I think of it now,” Biden said.

“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Genesis 16:12

Biden fist bumps Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid criticism of meeting - ABC News

The president commented on his discussion of Khashoggi during remarks with reporters after the meetings, insisting he was direct with the Saudis.

“I was straightforward and direct when discussing it,” Biden said. “I made my view crystal clear. I said very straightforwardly. For an American president to be silent on an issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am.”

“What happened to Khashoggi was outrageous,” he added.

Biden said the crown prince told him he was not responsible for Khashoggi’s murder.

“He basically said he was not personally responsible for it, I indicated I thought he was,” he said. “I indicated he probably was. He said he was not personally responsible for it and he took action against those who were responsible.”

Biden said he continued the conversation by telling the crown prince that murdering dissidents of the Saudi Arabian government was “viewed as to me a violation of human rights.”

The president tried to defend his meetings with the Saudis, despite vowing to treat them as a “pariah” during his presidential campaign.

“I did not come here to meet with the crown prince,” Biden said, after fist-bumping Salman when he arrived at the palace.

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