Biden apologizing ... again

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Vice President Biden is now reaching out to leaders from Saudi Arabia to apologize for and clarify comments he made during a foreign policy town hall last week, a senior official told The New York Times.

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The outreach follows similar efforts to smooth the waters with leaders in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, as the notoriously outspoken vice president sought to stem the fallout from his blunt assessment of the Middle East.

In his remarks, Biden insinuated that the Saudis had supplied jihadi groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, including al Qaeda.

“They were so determined to take down Assad and have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad," Biden said during a forum at Harvard University. "Except that the people who were being supplied were [Jabhat] al Nusra and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

He also slammed the country’s human rights record, drawing comparisons to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

“We knew Stalin was no-good S.O.B. from the beginning,“ Biden said. “But there is a thing called self-interest.”

Saudi Arabia has provided support for the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including an offer to host a training camp for moderate Syrian rebels battling the terror network and the Assad regime. While most foreign policy experts say Biden was correct in his comments, doing so risked alienating a coalition partner in the fight against ISIS

White House press secretary Josh Earnest repeatedly refused to discuss Biden’s comments about Saudi Arabia on Monday but said the vice president "has enough character to admit when he’s made a mistake.”

Biden has had to do so already, apologizing to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after suggesting Turkey had allowed foreign fighters to cross the border into Syria to take up arms alongside ISIS.

“President Erdogan told me, ‘You were right. We let too many people through. So we’re trying to seal the border,’ ” Biden said.

Earnest sad Biden had "mischaracterized" Erdogan's "private remarks,” although Earnest refused to say whether the U.S. believed Turkey had allowed foreign fighters to cross its borders at an unacceptable rate.

Biden also apologized to the United Arab Emirates for suggesting, as he had with Saudi Arabia, that they provided support to radical fighters.

Despite the repeated gaffes, the White House offered a vote of confidence for Biden on Monday.

“The fact of the matter is the vice president is somebody who continues to be a core member of the president’s national security team," Earnest said.

"He is somebody who has decades of experience in dealing with leaders around the globe. And the president is pleased to be able to rely on his advice as we confront the variety of challenges that are so critical to American national security."