Biden’s Comments to Saudis are Rejected

There's a twist to the tale of what transpired during Joe Biden's visit to Saudi Arabia.

In the words of the Fox's Jacqui Heinrich, Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, contacted Heinrich's Fox colleague Alex Hogan. Hogan pointed out that Hogan “did not hear” Joe Biden telling MBS that he believed Khashoggi was murdered. It's a fairly subtle way to say that Biden did not mention it.

They also specifically slammed certain other allegations that Biden and other people were claiming regarding the meeting.

1. Biden previously stated that the lifting of flight restrictions from Israel was a move towards normalization. The Saudis claimed that lifting restrictions did not mean any further cooperation.

2. Biden declared that talks on oil were productive, and that they were in agreement with the US desire to boost supply. Biden also suggested that there will be announcements about developments over the next few weeks. However, this isn't what Saudis have been saying.

Saudi leaders have repeatedly stated they won't increase the production of oil in the kingdom without the consent of its partners within OPEC+, which next is scheduled to meet in August.

Saudi Arabia is already close to its capacity for production, and MBS presented its plans to boost capacity up to 13 million barrels per day. However, that plan was being discussed prior to when Biden was elected and will take until 2027 before it will reach that level according to the Oil Price. What MBS stated on Saturday about expanding capacity may have been misinterpreted by some as more immediate. It wasn't, and it wasn't an outcome of the conversation with Biden.

They stated that there would be no discussion about oil production at the next GCC Summit with the Gulf States and they would take whatever steps were needed to ensure balance in the market.

3. Biden did mention Khashoggi's name according to the report, and in reply, MBS supposedly retorted with the things Biden was doing in response to the death of journalist Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh. The journalist was killed by gunfire in the conflict between Israeli IDF and Palestinians. MBS asked Biden what the administration was doing to ensure justice for the journalist's death. Biden did not address that in his interview.

Saudi FM also raised prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib to Fox and stated that nobody would believe president George W. Bush ordered this.

In the end, it's not certain what Biden believed he gained out of this conference, especially with the Saudis simply denying the claims he made and reaching out to the media to challenge the claim. He didn't seem to gain any advantage, but he could be losing ground. It's a “who do you believe?” moment: Saudis or Biden. It's sad that we have to be skeptical about Biden.

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