The video of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ‘smirking’ at the question of NBC reporter Peter Alexander as to whether he would apologise to the family of Jamal Khashoggi has gone viral. Alexander said after he asked the question, a Saudi aide grabbed his arm tightly. “Jamal Khashoggi, will you apologize to his family?” I shouted to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the end of the press pool spray. MBS had a slight smirk, before a Saudi aide grabbed my arm tightly,” Peter Alexander tweeted. Biden told Saudi Prince he’s to blame for journalist Khashoggi’s murder: Report
At the end of a meeting between President Biden and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, an NBC News reporter, Peter Alexander, shouted “Jamal Khashoggi, will you apologize to his family?” Prince Mohammed and Biden ignored the question. https://t.co/aJWzG21P9T pic.twitter.com/PDyfPSwN1n— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 15, 2022
“Jamal Khashoggi, will you apologize to his family?” I shouted to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the end of the press pool spray.— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) July 15, 2022
MBS had a slight smirk, before a Saudi aide grabbed my arm tightly. pic.twitter.com/htrSAvu2f7
In the video it can be seen that as soon as the question was asked, the host attempted to conclude the press meet by saying, ‘thank you guys’. Another reporter asked, “President Biden, is Saudi Arabia still a pariah’. None of the questions was taken up and the meeting concluded as MBS smiled.
US President Joe Biden said he raised the issue of the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi with the Crown Prince. “I raised it at the top of the meeting, making it clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now,” Biden said in a speech after hours of meetings with the Saudi Crown Prince in Jeddah. “He said he was not personally responsible for it, and he took action against those who were responsible,” Biden said.
The Al Arabiya news channel, citing an unnamed Saudi official, said the Crown Prince told Biden that such an incident could happen anywhere.
Last year, Biden released an intelligence report indicating that MBS had ordered the operation at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that led to the murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Khashoggi. But MBS was not sanctioned as the White House cited precedent regarding not sanctioning foreign leaders.
Biden’s fist-bump with MBS drew flak as Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz tweeted that seeing the fistbump Jamal Khashoggi would have said, “Hey @POTUS, Is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands.”