Washington Post’s Max Boot blasted for calling to ‘cut Biden some slack’ for MBS fist-bump – Fox News

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Washington Post columnist Max Boot’s defense for President Biden fell flat on Twitter later Sunday afternoon.

Earlier that morning, Boot published an op-ed titled “Cut Biden some slack. U.S. presidents have to deal with dictators.” The piece specifically referenced the image of Biden fist-bumping Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) despite the Middle Eastern leader’s multiple human rights violations.

“I, too, recoiled at first from that distasteful image. But then I recalled that MBS is hardly the first, or even the worst, despot that U.S. presidents have greeted in similar ways. Harry Truman shook hands with Joseph Stalin, Richard Nixon with Mao Zedong — and both of those dictators had far more blood on their hands than MBS. Columnists can hurl thunderbolts of outrage from on high, but moral purity is a luxury that no leader of a great nation can afford. Every president has to pursue both America’s ideals and its interests — and often they are at odds,” Boot wrote. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fist bumps U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Al Salman Palace, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15, 2022. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fist bumps U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Al Salman Palace, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15, 2022. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

His article also appeared to whitewash the Saudi Arabian leader in defense of Biden’s attempts to appeal to him.

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“In truth, MBS is a more ambivalent figure than the cartoon villain that he is so often made out to be in media coverage. It’s true that he is cruel and repressive. He has created a climate of fear in Saudi Arabia, imprisoned dissidents and accumulated absolute power. But, while illiberal politically, he is liberalizing Saudi society,” Boot argued.

Twitter users quickly attacked Boot’s article for defending both Biden and shrugging off Mohammed bin Salman in the wake of fellow Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi’s death and dismemberment.

President Biden speaks during an arrival ceremony after arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Tel Aviv. 

President Biden speaks during an arrival ceremony after arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Tel Aviv.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

New York Magazine journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, “This is so wrong. MBS reforms are window dressing in order to normalize [the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s] image. Saudi monarchs have always been repressive but MBS cant even maintain basic norms. He is trying to kill two men (MBN and Aljabri) who have saved many American lives! He killed your colleague!”

Human rights attorney Jameel Jaffer wrote, “’If you want oil to be cheap and Iran to be isolated, you need to be willing to forgive the occasional killing of a US journalist’ (my paraphrase) is at least as good an argument as the ones Max Boot has offered in the past.”

“Let’s not turn a dictator who had a Washington Post columnist murdered and dismembered into a cartoon villain, argues Washington Post columnist,” The Intercept writer Jon Schwarz tweeted. 

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: President Joe Biden takes reporters questions on the south lawn of the White House on July 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. President Biden just returned from visiting Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, and met with the Israeli leader earlier in the week. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 16: President Joe Biden takes reporters questions on the south lawn of the White House on July 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. President Biden just returned from visiting Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, and met with the Israeli leader earlier in the week. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The popular Defiant L’s Twitter account also posted a contrast between Boot’s calls to “cut Biden some slack” and his previous claims that former President Trump “coddled” foreign dictators.

“Oh @MaxBoot never stop being the grifter boot licker that you are,” conservative writer Carmine Sabia tweeted, along with Defiant L’s tweet.

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Boot responded to criticism of his article on Twitter.

“I’m seeing lots of abusive responses to my column defending Biden’s meeting with MBS,” Boot wrote. “I share the anger over MBS’s ‘vile’ crime (as I noted). But Presidents, unlike Twitter trolls, have to balance interests and ideals. That’s what Biden is doing.”

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A Fox News poll showed less than half of American voters were comfortable with the U.S. purchasing oil from Saudi Arabia with over 80% considering the country’s human rights record to be a problem.

Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/washington-posts-max-boot-blasted-calling-cut-biden-some-slack-mbs-fist-bump

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