Both parties are not satisfied with the President Joe Biden‘s trip to Saudi Arabia, with some claiming he “bowed” to the kingdom and others claiming he shouldn’t have gone at all.
senator Edge Paul said the president spent his trip on his knees urging Saudi Arabia to increase its oil supply rather than tapping into US domestic supplies.
“Instead of going to Saudi Arabia, he should go to Texas or North Dakotaand he should be talking about asking our country to boot up [oil] Supply, rather than begging and bowing down to the Saudis and asking them to increase their supply,” the Kentucky said republican said WABC 770 AM host John Catsimatidis during an interview Sunday morning.
The comments come after Biden’s turbulent trip to the Middle East, which included a fist bump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which drew much attention for what appeared to be an overly friendly interaction with the dictator.
The president also faced backlash for not being harsh enough on MBS over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi. Biden claimed the kingdom lied when it said he did not raise the issue at his meeting with the crown prince.
Republican Senator Rand Paul (pictured leaving the Capitol on June 23) said Joe Biden went to the Middle East “to bow to the Saudis and beg them for more oil” when he left the President slammed for his behavior during his trip last week
Bipartisan criticism of the trip comes as a new Fox News poll shows 55% of voters don’t approve of Biden’s handling of US-Saudi Arabia relations
Senator Bernie Sanders said Biden shouldn’t have gone to Saudi Arabia, claiming he “rewarded” the kingdom with the trip for bad behavior.
When ABC This Week host Martha Raddatz asked if the president made the right decision in traveling there, the progressive Vermont independent said, “No, I don’t think so.”
“You have the leader of this country implicated in the murder of a Washington Post journalist,” he noted in his Sunday morning interview. “I don’t think that kind of government should be rewarded with a visit from the President of the United States.”
At the same time, a new Fox News poll released Sunday shows that 55 percent of voters don’t approve of Biden’s handling of US-Saudi relations.
Among registered voters in the July 10-13 poll, 32 percent said they approve of the way the president is managing relations with the Middle East nation.
Senator Bernie Sanders told ABC’s This Week program on Sunday that Biden shouldn’t have “rewarded” Saudi Arabia for bad behavior by visiting there
A handout photo of President Joe Biden (left) punching Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right) as he arrived for a meeting with the controversial royal Friday night in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has gone viral and has sparked a backlash for what appears to be a friendly interaction
Raddatz argued to Sanders that Biden had good intentions with his trip, claiming “oil is at the heart of the discussions.”
“Could that make a difference? And doesn’t that explain why he left?” she asked.
“I’m sure that’s why he left,” Sanders countered, claiming all Biden had to do was tell oil companies not to profit as much from their gas sales and lower prices at the pump.
‘We have [to] tell the oil companies to stop ripping off the American people,” he said. “And if they don’t, we should levy a windfall profit tax on them.”
“So you would just ignore the Saudis if you were president?” the ABC News host pressed.
“Look, you have a family that’s worth $100 billion, that’s destroying democracy, that treats women as third-class citizens, that murders and imprisons their opponents,” Sanders said. “And if this country believes in something, then we believe in human rights, we believe in democracy. And I just don’t think we should have a warm relationship with such a dictatorship.’
Paul agreed with progressive lawmakers that Biden’s trip to talk oil with Saudi Arabia was not the right move.
He claimed that no one but the Biden administration was to blame for the massive gas price hike, saying “all the Biden administration did was reduce supply” while demand remains high.
The Republican senator said the US has enough oil to make the country emergency independent for the next 100 years.
“If a government is aggressively chasing the supply of something and it turns investors off… The price shouldn’t shock any of us [of oil] shot through the roof,” he explained.
“There’s a way to fix that,” Paul added. You could start promoting production immediately [in America].’
“Not only is it a bad economy, but he’s also embarrassed to be bowing down to the Saudis over there and begging them for more oil,” he said.
“I couldn’t be more opposed to what he’s doing.”
Biden accused a Saudi official of lying about issues discussed at his private meeting with the crown prince, while again downplaying his infamous punch with MBS.
Biden (pictured arriving at the White House overnight from the Middle East) accused a Saudi minister of lying about the issues discussed in his private meeting with MBS after he said they weren’t about the murder of spoke to journalist Jamal Khashoggi
Early Sunday, the President returned to the White House from his four-day tour of the Middle East and briefly answered questions from reporters gathered on the South Lawn.
Hours earlier, just after Air Force One took off from Jeddah, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called a Fox News reporter and claimed he “didn’t hear” Biden confronting bin Salman about the killing of Khashoggi.
Al-Jubeir’s claim appears to directly contradict Biden’s account of Friday’s meeting with MBS, according to which the president said he addressed the murder of Khashoggi “at the head of the meeting” and accused the crown prince of directing the plot.
On the South Lawn, when asked if al-Jubeir was telling the truth about the meeting, Biden bluntly replied “no.”
Biden also reacted dismissively when asked by reporters if he regretted his now-infamous punch with MBS, saying, “Why don’t you guys talk about something important? I would be happy to answer an important question.”