Jun 5, 2022 - World

Democratic lawmaker says Biden shouldn't meet with MBS: "I wouldn't shake his hand"

President Biden shouldn't meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his upcoming trip to the Middle East, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Driving the news: Biden told reporters on Friday that there is a "possibility" he could visit Saudi Arabia during his upcoming trip to the region.

  • A visit would likely entail a meeting with MBS, who U.S. intelligence has concluded is responsible for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — an allegation Saudi officials reject.

What they're saying: "In my view, no," Schiff replied when asked by host Margaret Brennan whether Biden should visit Saudi Arabia and meet with MBS.

  • "I wouldn't go. I wouldn't shake his hand. This is someone who butchered an American resident, cut him up into pieces in the most terrible and pre-meditated way," added Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee.
  • "Until Saudi Arabia makes a radical change in terms of its human rights, I wouldn't want anything to do with him," he said, later adding that MBS "should be shunned."
  • Schiff acknowledged "the degree to which Saudi Arabia controls oil prices," noting that this constitutes a "compelling argument for us to wean ourselves off of a reliance on foreign oil and oil more globally, so we don't have despots and murderers calling the shots."

The bottom line: Schiff said he would like to see Saudi Arabia increase their oil production, make changes to its human rights record and hold those involved in the Khashoggi murder accountable before extending "that kind of dignity to Saudi Arabia or its leadership."

Go deeper