‘Americans Saw That And Were Revolted’: Jake Tapper Presses Democrat On Biden’s Fist Bump With Saudi Crown Prince


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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CNN host Jake Tapper pressed Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons on Friday over President Joe Biden’s fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The president received backfire from several prominent politicians and members of the media after his fist bump with the crown prince. The administration declassified information last year disclosing that the crown prince approved the murder of Saudi Arabian Washington Post columnist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who Saudi officials brutally killed in 2018.

Coons admired Biden’s commitment to human rights and was “encouraged” he will address the murder of Khashoggi and ways to incentivize Saudi Arabia to uphold basic human rights. Tapper said Americans were “revolted” by the president’s fist bump with the crown prince after the murder of the American journalist.

“First of all, Joe Biden, when he was running for president, he said he was going to turn Saudi Arabia into a pariah nation,” Tapper said. “He flew to Saudi Arabia and he fist bumped Mohammed bin Salman, the man responsible according to Biden’s own director of National Intelligence, for ordering a brutal murder of a Washington Post journalist, killing him and then dismembering him with a bone saw. That fist bump photograph, I think a lot of Americans saw that and were revolted by it.”

The senator said the president made the difficult decision to secure an additional oil supply from the Saudis due to the human rights abuses of Russia and China. With Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia being the three nations with untapped oil reserves, Coons defended the negotiations with the crown prince with the expectation that he will raise the issue of human rights abuses occurring in the country. (RELATED: Biden’s Anticipated Handshake With MBS Turns Into A Fist Bump…And Still The Media Is Big Mad)

“I would rather not be on this show saying that our president went and met with MBS. But, given the situation we’re in in the world today; given what changed on Feb. 24; given what we all know about the ongoing murders, the brutal killings happening to civilians every single day in Ukraine, I support our president,” the senator said.

Khashoggi’s fiancé, Hatice Cengiz, tweeted a screenshot of a post from Khashoggi’s account stating, “Hey @POTUS, is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands.”

“What Jamal Khashoggi would tweet today,” Cengiz captioned the post.

“What do you say to her?” Tapper asked Coons.

“I hope to have the chance to talk with her directly. I know that senior White House officials did meet with her before this trip, and I think it is important that we listen to Jamal Khashoggi’s widow,” Coons said. “Those in the journalism community, those in the Saudi dissident and diaspora community who find this a profoundly offensive moment and are gravely concerned about what comes next.”

“I do think that engagement with MBS at a moment when he’s making a choice between leaning more towards the West or leaning far further towards Russia and China was a hard choice, but one where I trust our president to sustain his commitment to human rights and to do the best thing he can in a tough circumstance.”

The president told the crown prince he blames him for the death of Khashoggi, he said at a press conference.