Washington Post publisher: Biden’s ‘shameful’ fist bump with Saudi crown prince ‘worse than a handshake’

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The Washington Post’s publisher blasted President Biden for greeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a fist bump Friday, saying it not only “projected intimacy and comfort” but also gave the Middle East leader “redemption.”

Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, called the exchange between the two leaders at the royal palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, “shameful.”

“The first 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 was been desperately seeking,” Ryan said in a statement, using a common media abbreviation for the crown prince’s name.

Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticized, including his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed, who the U.S. intelligence community said approved the 2018 murder of U.S.-based journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.  

The Post also reported that Saudis officials had initially excluded two reporters from the newspaper from a planned media briefing that the government was holding on Friday.

They were later allowed to attend the roundtable after bringing up the issue with the White House officials, the Post added.

This is Biden’s first visit to Saudi Arabia after he was elected in 2020 and comes after he promised during his presidential campaign to make the Middle East country a “pariah” state over Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The president said Friday he raised Khashoggi’s murder during his meeting with the crown prince after the White House wouldn’t comment on whether the president would raise the journalist’s death in the meeting. 

“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,” Biden said in a speech.

Tags Biden Biden administration Jamal Khashoggi Jamal Khashoggi Jamal Khashoggi killing MBS saudi arabia Saudi Arabia
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