The story of Joe Biden’s meeting with Saudi Arabian officials has one twist.
According to Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich and Alex Hogan, Adel Al-Jubeir was the Saudi minister for foreign affairs. He stated that he did not “hear” Joe Biden telling MBS that he thought Khashoggi was guilty. This is a subtle way to say that Biden did not speak it.
NEW: After POTUS departed Saudi Arabia on AF1, Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir called my colleague @AlexHoganTV back for a 2nd interview – even though Fox interviewed him yday.
He claimed that he had “not heard” Biden inform MBS that he thought Khashoggi was guilty
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) July 16, 2022
They also took down other claims that Biden or others made about the meeting.
1. Biden described lifting restrictions from Israel on Israeli flights as another step towards normalization. Saudi Arabia said the lifting restrictions did not indicate that future cooperation would occur.
2. Biden stated that discussions about oil had been productive and they agreed with the US’ urgency to increase supply. He also implied that there would be developments over the next few weeks. However, that’s not what the Saudis claim.
Saudi leaders have repeatedly stated that they won’t increase Saudi Arabia’s oil production unless its partners in OPEC+ agree. Next meeting is Aug. 3.
Saudi Arabia is already close to its production capacity, and MBS outlined its plans to increase capacity to 13 million barrels per day. However, that plan was and existed prior to Biden. It will be 2027 until that amount can be increased according to the Oil Price. Some people mistakenly thought that MBS’s Saturday statement about expanding capacity was more urgent. It wasn’t immediately and was not the result of Biden’s meeting.
They stated that no discussions were held on oil production during the GCC Summit with Gulf States and they would continue to do all that was needed to preserve market balance.
3. According to the account, Biden mentioned Khashoggi’s name at most. MBS responded with what Biden was doing regarding the death of Shireen Abu Akleh (a Palestinian journalist) who was shot during fighting between Israeli IDF soldiers and Palestinians. MBS inquired about Biden’s plans to bring justice for Shireen Abu Akleh. Biden did not mention this in his presser.
$. Fox also mentioned Abu Graib prisoner abuse to the Saudi FM, who said that no one could believe that George W. Bush had ordered it.
I don’t know what Biden got from this meeting. The Saudis shot down all of his claims and went to the media to challenge them. He didn’t seem to have gained anything and may even have lost some ground. It’s now “Who do you believe?” Time: Biden or the Saudis. And it is sad to even doubt Biden. We do, given his past.