REPORT: Saudi Crown Prince Routinely Mocks Biden’s Gaffes In Private

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly gets a kick out of President Joe Biden’s penchant for verbal gaffes.

Bin Salman, the de facto leader of the Saudi Kingdom and presumptive heir to King Salman bin Adulaziz, mocks the 79-year-old Biden’s flubs and questions his mental fitness, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources within the Saudi government. Bin Salman reportedly said he was thoroughly unimpressed by Biden’s leadership and preferred dealing with former President Donald Trump.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan denied that bin Salman had made such remarks in an interview with the Journal. “These allegations made by anonymous sources are entirely false,” said Prince Faisal. “The kingdom’s leaders have always held the utmost respect for U.S. presidents, based on the kingdom’s belief in the importance of having a relationship based on mutual respect.”

But sources said bin Salman doesn’t trust Biden, according to the Journal, and that the Saudis are re-evaluating their relationship with the United States, just as Washington is reconsidering how it will deal with Riyadh going forward.

The latest spat between the two leaders came earlier this month when Saudi Arabia decided to cut oil production from OPEC+, the globe’s leading oil cartel. The Biden administration had repeatedly asked Saudi not to cut production, and reportedly requested a one-month delay that would’ve pushed the effects of a cut beyond the upcoming midterm elections. The Kingdom decided to proceed anyway, denying any political motivation for doing so. (RELATED: State Dept. Dodges On Whether Biden Asked Saudis To Delay Oil Cut For Midterms)

Biden and his team accused the Saudis of aiding Russia’s war with Ukraine by cutting production, thus increasing Russian oil revenues. Press officials for Biden did repeatedly deny that they had any political motivations, either, citing economic conditions and the war in Ukraine as reasons to keep production higher.

Relations between bin Salman and Biden have been fraught for several years. Biden took a tough stance toward Saudi Arabia on the campaign trail, saying he saw “very little social redeeming value” within the current Saudi government. Biden waited more than a year after taking office to meet with bin Salman, and when they did meet earlier this year, the president reportedly angered the crown prince by immediately raising human rights concerns and the murder of Jamaal Khashoggi, a U.S.-based journalist critical of the Saudi regime.

Shortly after taking the White House, Biden released a report placing blame for the killing of Khashoggi on the Saudis and bin Salman, but the Kingdom continues to deny any involvement in his murder.

Critics say Biden hasn’t been hard enough on the kingdom. Despite the tough rhetoric, Biden was widely panned for fist-bumping the crown prince before their meeting this year, and anti-war activists on both sides of the aisle have urged the administration to end military cooperation with the Saudi regime.