On the same day that President Biden arrived in Mecca to meet with senior-level Saudi officials, his state visit already started to generate controversy.
First, people speculated that the Saudis were brushing him off as they sent a relatively low-level dignity to meet him at the landing strip. He was met by the Governor of Mecca rather than any MBS official.
Then, after Biden met MBS they greeted each other with a fist bump.
The fist bump resulted in a widespread backlash by the media as they castigated Biden for treating the Saudi leader with kid gloves after he was not held accountable for allegedly killing Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Now, MBS and Biden are in a war of words as they gave differing accounts of whether Biden confronted him about Khashoggi’s death or not.
The Epoch Times Reports–
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.
“No,” Biden said quickly. “Why don’t you talk about something that matters?” the president then told journalists, as another one asked him about bumping fists with the Saudi crown prince, the de facto leader of the Muslim kingdom, who is sometimes referred to as “MBS.”
Biden added, “I’m happy to talk about something that matters.”