From <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/"Zero Hedge
WaPo Condemns Biden For “Shameful” MBS Fist-Bump; “Worse Than A Handshake”
Update (1600ET): President Biden on Friday that Saudi Crown Prince MBS said he wasn’t responsible for the 2018 murder of WaPo columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“He basically said that he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated I thought he was,” said Biden.
“What happened to Khashoggi was outrageous,” he added.
Biden previously dodged press questions over whether he would bring up Khashoggi – instead painting a broad brush stroke of concern over Saudi Arabia’s “human rights” issues.
Last year the Biden administration released an intelligence report which concluded that MBS ordered the operation that led to the murder of Khashoggi – however the prince was not added to the list of people sanctioned for the crime.
* * *
Update (1528ET): The Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi’s former employer, has slammed President Biden for his “shameful” fist-bump with Mohammed bin Salman, writing in a statement that it “projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”
— Kristine Coratti Kelly (@kriscoratti) July 15, 2022
One of the very few entities applying the same moral condemnation of Trump’s ongoing partnership with the Saudis to Biden’s doing the same and more.
The difference: Trump vowed during the campaign he would partner with tyrants like the Saudis, while Biden vowed he wouldn’t. https://t.co/p847U54gk1
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 15, 2022
* * *
Update (12:43ET): More video of Biden’s brief interaction thus far with crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
⚡️Biden arrives at the al-Salam Palace in Jeddah to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He first-bumps.. but what‘s wrong with Biden legs? pic.twitter.com/mg7t4cnLTq
— Russian Market (@russian_market) July 15, 2022
And as expected, so far both are completely ignoring reporter questions as they shout out Khashoggi’s name…
مراسلة أمريكية تصرخ :
– الرئيس بايدن ، هل السعودية لا تزال منبوذة؟ pic.twitter.com/1I5cgEy3rr
— 🇺🇸محمد|MFU (@mfu46) July 15, 2022
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) July 15, 2022
Meanwhile, the real question on the agenda remains…
* * *
President Joe Biden has arrived on Air Force One in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday. After being greeted by local officials, he quickly entered a car and his motorcade took him to meet King Salman. The meeting with the king is expected to be brief, with CNN speculating a likely mere 30 minutes or less, given that 86-year old Salman has long been in declining health.
But all eyes are on the much anticipated meeting with the actual, de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, expected to take place later. The murder of Jamal Khashoggi looms heavily over the whole visit, as well as the question of oil production and other hot button issues, which is why neither MbS nor President Biden are expected to address media questions at all.
Here it is: Video of Pres. Biden just landing in #Saudi Arabia, coming from Israel. First US President to do so as Kingdom agreed to open airspace to all carriers inc Israel pic.twitter.com/ALupeLTSPk
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) July 15, 2022
As The New York Post underscored this week, Biden will be carefully shielded from any potentially awkward inquiries from reporters:
President Biden won’t hold a press conference when he travels to Saudi Arabia and meets with killer Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the White House said Wednesday — days after Biden insisted in an op-ed that “fundamental freedoms are always on the agenda when I travel abroad.”
“We don’t have a press conference for Saudi [Arabia],” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One en route to Israel for the first leg of Biden’s trip.
She still tried to say, “what we are trying to do is trying to make sure that you guys hear from the president in Saudi [Arabia], on the bilats [bilateral meetings], on the trip, and make sure that you guys hear directly from him.” Though it’s unclear what this means or if it will result in any interaction with reporters whatsoever.
— Patsy Widakuswara (@pwidakuswara) July 15, 2022
— Arab News (@arabnews) July 15, 2022
In going from Tel Aviv to Jeddah, Biden became the first American president in history to fly directly from Israel to Saudi Arabia.
Last night, the Saudis announced that for the first time it would open airspace for all such flights – which suggests the kingdom could be poised to join the Abraham Accords and establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state for the first time.
Biden touched down in Saudi Arabia-
A long way from his 2019 Pariah comments. 🇺🇸 🇸🇦 pic.twitter.com/Zbch5Ob66H
— Firas Maksad (@FirasMaksad) July 15, 2022
Entering the meeting place where King Salman is hosting, a smiling Joe Biden briefly greeted crown prince bin Salman with a fist-bump.
— Mohamed Samir (@Moh_S_Khedr) July 15, 2022
It wasn’t long ago that Biden was publicly calling MbS a “pariah”. And some former Saudi intelligence officials backed this view, and more:
A former Saudi intelligence chief called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a “psychopath” who is a threat to the whole world in a CBS News interview aired five days before President Joe Biden is due to visit the kingdom.
“A psychopath with no empathy, doesn’t feel emotion, never learned from his experience. And we have witnessed atrocities and crimes committed by this killer.”
Biden’s MbS fist-bump is coming off some prior warm handshakes and fist bumps with Israeli leaders during the first half of his Mideast trip…
Bloomberg wrote an entire article contemplating if Joe Biden would offend the crown prince of Saudi Arabia’s regime if he gave him a fist bump. pic.twitter.com/E2egeMemaK
— 🅹🅾️🅴🆈աrecκ ☭ (@joeywreck) July 13, 2022