We all knew this would be a train wreck. White House Steward Joe Biden has left Saudi Arabia humiliated. In 2020, Biden declared that the kingdom was a “pariah” after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. I couldn’t care less. The man walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect certain documents regarding his pending marriage. He probably knew the risks.
The nasty part about this story isn’t the sordid tales of torture and dismemberment that reportedly happened to Khashoggi. It’s the reaction. Everyone acted as if Walter Cronkite was the person butchered. The outrage was more intense because Khashoggi died while Trump was president. There would have been a more muted response if Hillary were at the helm.
It’s a salient point because Joe needs Saudi energy cooperation now that he’s wrecked the energy independence plan Trump started. The bad news is that Saudi Arabia is producing oil close to capacity. The United Arab Emirates was already at capacity.
We rolled into the kingdom begging for oil, and Khashoggi was a topic on the docket for the press. Did Biden mention this to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? He said he did. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister says otherwise. Did Biden forget? Either way, he looks like he lied. The best part is that the kingdom’s foreign ministry let this leak when Air Force One was wheels up (via White House):
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 of it now. And it was exactly — I was straightforward and direct in discussing it. I made my view crystal clear. I said very straightforwardly: For an American President to be silent on an issue of human rights, is this consistent with — inconsistent with who we are and who I am? I’ll always stand up for our values.
Q What was the Crown Prince’s response to your comments about Khashoggi?
THE PRESIDENT: He basically said that he — he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated that he probably was. He said he was not personally responsible for it and he took action against those who were responsible. And — and we — and then I went on to talk more about how that dealing with any opposition to the — or criticism of the Saudi administration in other countries was viewed as, to me, a violation of human rights. There was no (inaudible).
Q Sir, two quick questions, if I may. First, we just heard from Jamal Khashoggi’s wife, who said, “After this visit, the blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands.” What do you say to Mrs. Khashoggi?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m sorry she feels that way. I was straightforward back then. I was straightforward today.
What I — this is a meeting not — I didn’t come here to meet with the Crown Prince. I came here to meet with the GCC and nine nations to deal with the security and — and the needs of the free world, and particularly the United States, and not leave a vacuum here, which was happening as it has in other parts of the world.
Q Mr. President, do you regret calling the Saudis a “pariah” during your campaign?
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t regret anything I said.
Q Do you still feel that way though, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: I just answered your question, “Do I regret it?” I don’t regret anything that I said. What happened to Khashoggi was outrageous.
Q Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q You’re coming under a lot of fire for your fist bump with the Crown Prince. Why —
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.)
🚨NEW: After POTUS departed Saudi Arabia on AF1, Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir called my colleague @AlexHoganTV back for a 2nd interview – even though Fox interviewed him yday.
He pointedly claimed he “did not hear” Biden tell MBS he believed he was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) July 16, 2022
This is one of many claims Saudis made only at the conclusion of Biden’s trip — dampening White House touting incremental progress on 2 key objectives: normalizing relations between Israel & Saudi Arabia, and bolstering energy security pic.twitter.com/0JkTJW1I0z
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) July 16, 2022
I’m chuckling about the clean energy initiatives Saudi Arabia supposedly agreed upon at these meetings. Watch those get slow-walked to death once we have someone with the cognitive abilities to serve as president. Leah will have more on the Biden-Khashoggi lie because even The New York Times has turned on the president.
I would like to refer back to 2019 when Joe Biden said he would be ‘Tommy Tough Nuts’ and make the Saudis pay for what they did to Khashoggi, the Middle Eastern Dave Brinkley. Well, Tommy got soft.
‘Making them pay’ turned into a fist bump.
Joe Biden looked as he always does—tired, slow, and tiny. Joe is our leader, and it’s painfully evident that he carries no presence as our president. I wouldn’t take him seriously at all as a world leader. Given his 40-year track record of being dead wrong on all foreign policy matters, I’d also be wary of any venture carrying this guy’s signature.
It’s just idiotic. Saudi Arabia has been committing human rights abuses for decades, and our government doesn’t care. For better or worse, they’re one of our allies in the region. With Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, we’ll need all the local pressure and help we can get in the area, so Joe’s ready-to-rumble attitude in the 2020 primaries was just another of his foreign policy blunders. We’re going to have to deal with the Saudis. That’s reality, so stop acting like the Saudis can be easily discarded like the adult diapers you wear daily, Joe.
It’s just disgraceful seeing a man who is incompetent and unable to perform the duties as president be dragged all over the world as if people respect and fear him. They don’t. All of this is a formality. You cannot be rude to the president of the United States, but you can nod and make him believe certain things, especially when he’s half braindead like Joe Biden.