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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his projected victory in the 2020 election on Sunday, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Why it matters: The Saudi government has been one of the Trump administration's closest allies in the world, with White House adviser Jared Kushner sharing a personal friendship with MBS. Despite pressure from Congress, President Trump stuck by MBS after he was accused of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The big picture: Trump allies around the world are gradually coming around to the reality that the election is over, even as the president refuses to concede and continues to file long-shot lawsuits over alleged voter fraud.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, another of Trump's top allies, waited more than 12 hours after U.S. networks called the presidential race to offer his congratulations to Biden.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have also offered their congratulations. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have not yet commented.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Jan 26, 2021 - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Dave Lawler, author of World
Jan 27, 2021 - World

At Davos, Putin points to U.S. to warn Big Tech is driving social divisions

Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the virtual “Davos Agenda” conference on Wednesday that recent events in the U.S. had underscored the danger of “public discontent” combined with “modern technology.”

The big picture: Putin, a late addition to the speakers' list, is facing protests at home over the arrest of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. Several experts and activists criticized the World Economic Forum for inviting him, with chess champion and Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov tweeting that Putin’s appearance showed he was “desperate to reassure his cronies he's still acceptable in the West despite his brutal crackdown.”

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."