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Biden Criticized After Giving Saudi Crown Prince a Fist Bump


Joe Biden recently visited with the Saudi Crown Prince.

The optics of that meeting did not do Biden any favors.

Biden hopped out of his limo, walked up to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and fist bumped him…

The meeting took place in the Saudi city of Jiddah on Friday.

Biden is now facing some serious criticism for the strange exchange.

CNN reports on the meeting:

President Joe Biden on Friday indicated to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he believes the Crown Prince was to blame for the 2018 killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, even as Biden announced several new areas of cooperation aimed at reshaping US-Saudi relations.

The meetings in Jeddah largely seemed to go along with the planned reset of the US relationship with the kingdom after years of strain following Khashoggi’s death. But even more than the policy announcements and the formal discussions, it was the personal interactions between the US President — who once promised to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” — and the kingdom’s de facto ruler that drew the most attention.

The President was fiercely criticized for fist bumping the Crown Prince during their first in person interaction by human rights groups and fellow Democrats, as well as the publisher of the Washington Post. Those images of Biden and the Crown Prince, also known as MBS, were quickly promoted by the Saudi government, including on Saudi state TV and Twitter.

The Washington Post has more on the fist bump heard round the world:

It was the fist bump seen around the world. Biden was received Friday evening in the Saudi city of Jiddah, as part of a busy four-day itinerary that had taken him from stops in Israel and the West Bank to a regional summit of Arab states hosted by the Saudis. A lot was on the agenda as the Biden administration seeks to subtly reassert U.S. leadership in the Middle East and move along Israel’s rapprochement with an emerging crop of Arab partners.

But the encounter with the crown prince, who U.S. intelligence officials believe responsible for the plot that led to the killing of Saudi dissident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, loomed above it all. The image was swiftly disseminated by the kingdom’s state media and prompted a global outcry.

Washington Post CEO  Fred Ryan called the fist bump “shameful:”

“The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake — it was shameful,” Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said in a statement. “It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”

Biden has faced a wave of questions about the strange greeting with the Saudi prince.

He simply laughs it off every time:

Criticism is certainly warranted here.

The Saudi government quickly shared photographs following the now-infamous fist bump:

Biden is now facing intense backlash from home:

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