On Sunday morning, CNN anchor Jake Tapper took President Joe Biden to task for allowing Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman to claim amnesty in connection with the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who worked for The Washington Post.
Tapper pointed out that Biden had previously said that the U.S. would “reassess” its relationship with the Saudis if they did not take responsibility for the murder, and yet here we are. Tapper also noted that Biden has been critical of other world leaders for not speaking out against human rights abuses, and yet he has been largely silent on this issue. It’s a fair point; if Biden is going to hold other world leaders accountable, he needs to be willing to do the same with our allies.
“A few weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that MBS ‘mocks President Biden in private, making fun of the 79-year-old’s gaffes and questioning his mental acuity,’ according to people inside the Saudi government. Nothing gets leaked by the Saudi government to The Wall Street Journal without MBS signing off on it, President Biden,” Tapper began.
“What are you — what are we — getting in exchange for letting this thug get away with murder, Mr. President?” Tapper asked. “Other than the stink of complicity?”
A Biden administration court filing states the office held by Saudi Arabia's crown prince shields him from a lawsuit filed by the fiancée of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. CNN's @jaketapper questions President Biden's previous pledge to address the killing. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/cPHygn6ZZc
— CNN (@CNN) November 20, 2022
Tapper is right. This is a huge black mark on Biden’s record so far. It’s hard to see how he can credibly lecture other world leaders about human rights abuses when he is unwilling to hold our allies accountable for their actions. This incident also calls into question Biden’s judgement; why would he allow the Saudis to get away with this? It makes it look like he is more interested in maintaining good relations with them than in doing what is right. And that is not the kind of leader we need right now.
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