Biden Wants Media to Forget His Fist Bump With Saudi Crown Prince

Despite fist bumping with Saudi Arabia’s monarch, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), on his Middle East tour, President Biden still does not regret his highly controversial action.

Instead, he wants the media not to discuss his fist bump anymore.

Biden Does Not Want to Make Headlines 

When Biden returned from his Saudi Arabia trip, a reporter asked him if he regretted fist bumping with MBS.

Responding to this, Biden noted the media should only talk about the things “that matter,” adding that he is happy to answer a “question that matters.”

On Friday, a reporter asked a similar question from Biden, which the president dismissed by laughing.

After his arrival back to the United States, Biden also differs from Saudi’s official view about the Biden-MBS discussion regarding the murder of former journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

While asking a question from Biden, a reporter quoted the Saudi foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, who claimed he did not hear Biden discussing Khashoggi’s murder with the crown prince.

On this, Biden accused the Saudi foreign minister of lying.

Initially, Biden told reporters he raised the issue of Khashoggi’s murder with MBS, on which the Saudi monarch claimed he was not personally responsible for the journalist’s death.

A Win For the US?

Meanwhile, the Saudi Foreign Minister appeared in a CNN interview on Saturday, in which he stated the Biden-MBS fist bump was “a win” for the United States.

Reportedly, Biden’s no handshake Middle East policy was made to avoid the optics of the Biden-MBS handshake. Though even the fist bump with a leader whom Biden has previously labeled as a “pariah” made headlines.

According to the Saudi Minister, Biden “got out of it (the fist bump) a meeting” with a key leader and a chance to recalibrate the Saudi-US ties.

Bin Farhan also told the CNN host not to make the fist bump an issue, adding that “pleasantries” are normal among two international leaders.

Now, Biden’s goal to force Saudi Arabia to release more oil also seems to have failed drastically. Following the Biden-MBS meeting, the White House announced that Saudi Arabia agreed to increase its oil production, which will “stabilize markets considerably.”

While the Saudi crown prince hinted at releasing more oil, he also observed that the kingdom would not be able to help Biden too much on this issue.

MBS asserted that Saudi Arabia has the limit of releasing 13 million barrels of petroleum products per day; it is already releasing almost 10.2 million barrels.

In his speech, crown prince MBS slammed Biden for his so-called green agenda, which is responsible for the global oil crisis.

According to him, “unrealistic policies” of reducing carbon emissions by excluding primary energy sources will only result in “unprecedented inflation,” which will push the world into chaos.

These concerns echoed Biden’s domestic critics, who have already urged the president to increase domestic oil production in order to bring oil prices down.

This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.