Former vice president Joe Biden said Thursday that President Donald Trump “seems to have a love affair with autocrats,” criticizing his cozy relationship with the leaders of Saudi Arabia after the disappearance (and presumed killing) of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
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Biden spoke about Trump during a television interview on the show CBS This Morning, saying:
“He’s already making excuses before the facts are known. It hurts us internationally.”
Trump is still demanding patience with an inquiry into the involvement of the Saudi government into the claimed torture and murder of Khashoggi. The journalist, who had been critical of the Saudi regime, walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd and has not been seen since. There are reports, however, of recordings of a seven-minute torture session during which Khashoggi was dismembered and killed by Saudi Arabian security officials.
The Saudi king and crown prince have denied all involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
“I just don’t know why this administration seems to feel the need to coddle autocrats and dictators from Putin to Kim Jong Un to . . . Duterte,” Biden lamented to his CBS interviewer. “I don’t understand it.”
In his comments Biden was pointing out that our American president seems to have warm and friendly relations with some of the most sinister dictators in the world, the leaders of Russia, North Korea and the Philippines.
Host Norah O’Donnell then asked the former Vice President is he could explain Trump’s behavior. Biden responded by saying:
“I don’t want to speculate on my worst fears. But either he doesn’t know what he is doing or he has an absolutely convoluted notion of what allows America to lead the world.”
Biden also said that he has had many doubts about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the designated heir to the Saudi throne. And unfortunately, he now believes these doubts have been confirmed through the Khashoggi incident.
“My doubts are that there’s very little sense of rule of law, respect for human rights, dignity,” Biden said in the interview. “The allegations that are made so far . . . are not inconsistent with the way the kingdom would act.”
Biden is considering a 2020 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and has been increasingly vocal in his criticisms of President Trump in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, at a campaign rally, Trump challenged Biden to a fist fight and said he “would love to take on” the former vice president.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.