Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is suspected to be involved in the killing of an American journalist.
He met with Biden on Friday, an event that has drawn criticism.
“We have to be willing to take stances even if they are difficult,” Rep. Omar said on “Velshi.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, critiqued President Joe Biden’s approach to a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
Biden “going from calling MBS a ‘pariah’ to fist bumping him was really disappointing,” Omar told Ali Velshi on his MSNBC show on Sunday.
“This whole trip sends the wrong message to human rights defenders, and to the values that we say we have in upholding human rights,” she added.
Biden has received backlash for meeting with MBS despite his suspected involvement in the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The president promised in 2020 during a presidential debate to turn Saudi Arabia into a “pariah state” following Khashoggi’s killing.
Despite Biden bringing up MBS’s involvement in Khashoggi’s killing on Friday, the meeting was viewed by critics as a bad judgment.
“A presidential trip to Saudi Arabia right now is going to be confirmation, validation not just that it’s business as usual but that MBS got away with murder,” Aaron David Miller, a former US diplomat who advised multiple secretaries of state on the Middle East, told Insider last month.
Miller added that Biden would be sending a “pretty powerful signal that it’s OK now to do business with MBS.”
“We have to stop this process of saying we are going to do one thing on foreign policy and then doing the opposite because it messes with our credibility,” Omar said on Sunday.
“We want to be a country that has moral standing when it comes to the defense of human rights, with Ukraine and other places. We have to be a country that is interested in advancing democracies,” she added. “And none of those things are accomplished with the message this trip sends. We have to be willing to take stances even if they are difficult.”
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Source:: Business Insider