President Joe Biden early Sunday disputed a claim that he didn't accuse Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of orchestrating the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in private meetings.
After arriving home in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Biden was asked by a reporter about a comment from the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir.
"The Saudi foreign minister said he didn’t hear you accuse the crown prince of Khashoggi's murder. Is he telling the truth?" the reporter asked the president.
Days before that, at a news conference, Biden claimed that he spoke about the death of Khashoggi several years ago. After his death in 2018, a number of mainstream media outlets often featured the death as front-page news, and those outlets also attempted to tie his killing to the Trump administration. Federal agencies have suspected the Saudi government was involved in his death.
What the Minister SaidBut al-Jubeir, the foreign minister, told Fox News that Biden and MBS never addressed Khashoggi's death.
"I didn't hear that particular phrase," al-Jubeir remarked. "The president mentioned that the U.S. is committed to human rights because since the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and he also made the point that American presidents—this is part of the agenda of every American president."
Biden's apparent lack of public criticism about the Saudi government and the fist bump was panned by legacy media, including The Washington Post, which issued a rare critical statement about the president.
Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan alleged that the Biden–MSB fist bump “projected a level of intimacy” far worse than a handshake. “The first bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake—it was shameful,” Ryan continued.