When a reporter asked President Joe Biden if he regretted his fist bump with Mohammed bin Salman, Joe Biden reacted angrily, pointing out that the question was completely irrelevant. He noted that reporters frequently focus on trivial details, so he wasn’t prepared to respond to such questions.
WATCH JOE BIDEN RESPOND IN ANGER:
What happened? What tried to be a handshake ended up as a fist bump. When he arrived at Al-Salam Royal Palace for meetings with bin Salman, President Joe Biden chose an outstretched closed fist to greet the man.
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In the days preceding up to the controversial meeting in Saudi Arabia, the greeting had been the subject of great speculation. Due to a long number of human rights violations, including the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in a Saudi operation that U.S. intelligence believed had the approval of the crown prince, Biden had pledged to treat the nation as a “pariah” when campaigning for president.
Biden reassured the public that he did bring up Khashoggi’s death during the two-and-a-half-hour press conference. “I made my view crystal-clear,” Biden said. “I said, very straightforwardly, for an American president to be silent on an issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am.”
According to Biden, Bin Salman refused to accept responsibility for what occurred, but the president insisted that the Saudi crown prince was to blame. The White House revealed the details of the conference after a day in which the press was denied access to Joe Biden.
The first fist bump greeting happened when U.S. media weren’t there to film the occurrence. The kingdom’s state media captured the greeting, and the Saudi Arabian government quickly posted photographs of it on social media channels.
Biden and the prince only allowed the press to attend the meeting’s beginning, but the comments could not be heard by the reporters present. Furthermore, unlike in most previous meetings with foreign leaders, television and radio reporters were not permitted to bring boom microphones into the meeting to improve audio quality.
Biden also left the palace without being seen by the press.
The lack of a handshake, as well as the air of secrecy that surrounded the meeting, added to the criticism. “The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammad bin Salman was worse than a handshake — it was shameful,” said Fred Ryan, Washington Post publisher. “It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”
Even passionate Democratic supporters like Rep. Adam Schiff of California criticized Biden’s choice to meet with bin Salman.
In a statement to the media in Jeddah, President Biden listed all the agreements reached during the meeting, including Saudi Arabia’s decision to permit commercial planes to travel straight from Israel to the kingdom for the first time.
The meeting took place as global oil supplies became scarce and prices increased as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite the White House’s repeated denials, Biden stated that the United States and Saudi Arabia “had a good discussion” about the world’s oil supply and that the oil-rich country would soon expand its production capacity.
Biden has been slammed by so many people on social media and even a NAVY SEAL!