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Bernie Sanders Criticizes Joe Biden’s Latest Move, Says President Rewarded Saudi Arabia

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been a pretty staunch supporter of President Joe Biden, but he is not thrilled with what Biden just did.

The senator, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, appeared on the ABC News show “This Week” on Sunday, when he criticized the president’s trip to Saudi Arabia.

“You have a leader of that country who was involved in the murder of a Washington Post journalist,” he said. “I don’t think that that type of government should be rewarded with a visit by the President of the United States.”

He presented his ideas as the alternative, including a profits windfall tax that could be passed on to consumers from the oil companies.

“You’ve got a family that is worth $100 billion, which questions democracy, which treats women as third class citizens, which murders and imprisons its opponents,” he said. “And if this country believes in anything, we believe in human rights. We believe in democracy. I just don’t believe we should be maintaining a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that.”

And he was not the only President Biden supporter to criticize the trip.

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Democrat California Rep. Adam Schiff is furious with President Joe Biden after he met, and fist bumped with, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Biden had visited Saudi Arabia as part of his diplomatic trip to the Middle East to talk about security, human rights and energy.

The president fist bumped Mohammed bin Salman on Friday, which the White House maintained was done for COVID protocol.

“If we ever needed a visual reminder of the continuing grip oil-rich autocrats have on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, we got it today,” Schiff said on Twitter. “One fist bump is worth a thousand words.”

But he was not the only person to criticize the president for the fist bump.

“A fist bump for the Saudis and the middle finger to Texas, Colorado, Alaska, North Dakota, and New Mexico, who stand ready to produce the oil Biden is begging Saudi Arabia for,” Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds said. “America LAST.”

“President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia is another slap to the face of American oil and gas producers,” Republican Rep. Chip Roy said. “From day one, Biden has demonized reliable energy producers through his rhetoric and policies,” the Texas representative added. “Now he’s fist bumping Saudi royals. Despicable.”

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw said in response to Rep. Schiff, “Maybe we wouldn’t need to depend on foreign autocracies so much for oil if dems allowed us to be energy independent again.”

“The Saudi crown prince got a fist bump from Joe Biden. 11,000 Keystone XL workers got pink slips from Joe Biden,” Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden said.

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“The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake — it was shameful. It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking,” Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said.

“For the past six months, the US and Biden have (rightly) condemned Putin and Russia over human rights, autocracy, and an illegal war. Those condemnations, though, ring pretty hollow today. The world is watching the double standards of American foreign policy on full display,” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan said.

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CNN reported.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, hit back at Joe Biden after the US President confronted him about the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a meeting between the two leaders on Friday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

In the meeting, Bin Salman, also known as MBS, denied responsibility for the killing of Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. Biden said he inidicated that he disagreed with MBS, based on US intelligence assessments, according to the source.

In response to Biden bringing up Khashoggi, MBS cited the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison by US military personnel and the May killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank as incidents that reflected poorly on the US, the source said.

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“With respect to the murder of Khashoggi, I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now,” President Biden said. “I was straightforward and direct in discussing it. I made my view crystal clear.”

“We investigated, punished and ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said. “This is what countries do. This is what the US did when the mistake of Abu Ghraib was committed.”

“Those responsible (for Khashoggi’s murder) have been investigated and faced the law and are paying the price for their crime,” he said. “The conversation moved on in terms of the official discussion.”

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