President Biden faced criticism Friday after fist bumping the Saudi crown prince who allegedly approved the brutal murder of a journalist almost four years ago.
The meeting itself was controversial given that U.S. intelligence has concluded Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 murder of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. In 2019, Biden promised he would make Saudi Arabia "the pariah that they are."
Though Biden opted to fist bump the Saudi crown prince and not shake his hand, Washington Post reporter Cleve R. Wootson Jr. tweeted that "MBS still gets what he's longed for: a very public display of validation by the leader of the free world." Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker agreed, tweeting, "Biden still fist-bumped the man who ordered the murder — and bone-saw dismemberment — of a U.S. journalist, after refusing to say if he would directly confront MBS on Jamal Khashoggi's murder."
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancée, slammed Biden over the meeting and fist bump, sharing an image of what she imagined Khashoggi would tweet were he alive today: "Is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS's next victim is on your hands."
Cengiz previously told The Associated Press the meeting is "heartbreaking and disappointing," adding, "Biden will lose his moral authority by putting oil and expediency over principles and values."