(CNS News) - As President Joe Biden travels to Saudi Arabia this week to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) expressed disdain for the president’s actions when asked whether the trip was appropriate.
A U.S. intelligence report found Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved a plan to “capture or kill” a Washington Post writer, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.
At the Capitol on July 12, CNS News asked Senator Johnson, “Is it appropriate for President Biden to travel to Saudi Arabia and meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman?”
“Well, it’s not appropriate for him to be begging for oil when we could be producing it here,” said Johnson.
President Biden defended his decision to meet with the Saudi Prince in an commentary published in the Washington Post. According to Biden, his trip to the oil-abundant country “will advance important American interests.”
Saudi Arabia’s “energy resources are vital for mitigating the impact on global supplies of Russia’s war in Ukraine,” said Biden.
“The Middle East I’ll be visiting is more stable and secure than the one my administration inherited 18 months ago,” the president assured Americans
Critics of Biden’s decision to travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with MBS accuse Biden of sacrificing America’s moral values to resolve its current energy crisis.
In a separate commentary by Post CEO Fred Ryan, entitled “Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia erodes our moral authority,” the executive calls out the president’s inability to fulfill his campaign promise of increased pressure on the Saudi Crown:
“When seeking votes, Biden vowed to make Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a ‘pariah’ for his role in murdering Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the world had every reason to think he meant it.”
Some critics predict that Biden’s trip will only serve to benefit MBS. Carolyn Kissane wrote in Barron’s that “the trip is unlikely to produce much in the way of extra oil.” Kissane describes Biden’s trip as being a “victory lap” for Mohammed bin Salman, as a public meet and greet between him and the president of the United States would “solidify MBS, as the crown prince is known, as the true leader of Saudi Arabia, now and in the future.”