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Biden says he’s ‘sorry she feels that way’ in response to Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée saying ‘the blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands’

President Joe Biden

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

  • Biden said he felt “sorry” for Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz.
  • Cengiz said Biden would have blood on his hands after he agreed to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • US intelligence previously said that MBS was directly implicated in Khashoggi murder.

President Joe Biden on Friday dismissed comments from Hatice Cengiz, Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée, after she criticized the president for his decision to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and greet him with a fistbump. 

“I’m sorry she feels that way, I was straightforward back then. I was straightforward today,” Biden told reporters in Jeddah following his meeting with the crown prince and other top Saudi officials.

After a photo went viral of Biden fist-bumping the crown prince, Cengiz published a mock-up on Twitter of what Khashoggi would have written had he not been killed.

“Hey @POTUS, Is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of the MBS’s next victim is on your hands.”

The US intelligence community previously determined that the crown prince was directly involved in Khashoggi’s brutal murder. Biden also rejected criticism that his rapprochement of relations with the kingdom could make it more likely for future dissidents to be silenced or even killed like Khashoggi was.

“God love you, what a silly question. How could I possibly be sure of any of that?” Biden said when asked of possible future reprisals. “I just made it clear if anything occurs like that again that they’ll get that response and much more.”

Biden struck a defiant tone after his meeting, mentioning that he brought up Khashoggi’s murder directly with the crown prince and that he didn’t regret saying during the 2020 presidential campaign that the kingdom would become a “pariah.”

“Can I predict anything is gonna happen, let alone here, let alone any other part of the world? No,” Biden said. “I don’t know why you’re all so surprised the way I react.”

 

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