‘Worse Than a Handshake’: Washington Post SLAMS Biden for ‘Shameful’ Fist Bump with Saudi Crown Prince Who Ordered Its Columnist’s Murder
The Washington Post excoriated President Joe Biden after he fist-bumped Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Bin Salman ordered the 2018 murder of Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, according to U.S. intelligence agencies in an act that sparked international outrage. Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where his body was dismembered and subsequently disappeared.
After the gesture between Biden and Bin Salman, Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan ripped the president in a statement:
The 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 desperately seeking.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have had a longstanding friendly relationship, despite the repressive nature of the Saudi government. Several U.S. presidents have visited the kingdom over the years. However, perhaps none had condemned the country as sharply as Biden did while campaigning for president.
As a candidate, Biden said he was prepared to make Bin Salman and the Saudi regime “pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are.”
Early in his presidency, Biden announced he was ending sales of “offensive weapons” to Saudi Arabia. However, a $500 million military contract he signed off on last year involving attack helicopters appeared to contradict that pledge.
In addition to Ryan’s remarks in the statement, Washington Post columnist and CNN political analyst Josh Rogin said on the network Friday that he agrees with Ryan and called it “an embarrassing moment for the United States, President Biden, and a concession to the propaganda victor of Mohammed bin Salman.”
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org