President Biden shook hands with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit on Saturday, despite the backlash he faced for fist-bumping the de facto Saudi leader last year.
Biden greeted bin Salman at the summit in New Delhi, following the announcement of a new rail and shipping corridor to connect India with the Middle East and Europe.
The president faced criticism last July for appearing too chummy with the Saudi crown prince, who U.S. intelligence officials have concluded was involved in the killing of Washington Post journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
Fred Ryan, the former publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, slammed Biden’s fist-bump with bin Salman at the time, saying it was “worse than a handshake” and “shameful.”
“It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he was been desperately seeking,” Ryan said.
Khashoggi’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, also suggested after the fist-bump last year that Biden was reneging on his campaign promises.
“Hey @POTUS, is this the accountability you promised for my murder?” Cengiz wrote in a post from the perspective of her late fiancee on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “The blood of MBS’s next victim is on your hands.”
When asked if he regretted the fist-bump upon his return to the White House, Biden responded to reporters, “Why don’t you guys talk about something that matters? I’m happy to answer a question that matters.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.