At the White House briefing on Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki said a recent report in the Wall Street Journal that claimed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman refused to take a call from President Biden was inaccurate. “There were no rebuffed calls, period,” Psaki said.
- "The Journal" is reporting that Saudi Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, declined a request to speak with President Biden recently. Early in his term, the White House said the president would conduct diplomacy with the Saudis through the king rather than through MBS. Why has that policy changed?
JEN PSAKI: That report is inaccurate, so let me start there. The president did speak with the Saudi king just a few weeks ago, several weeks ago. It's all running together at this point in time. There were no rebuffed calls. Period.
But when he spoke with King Salman on February 9, they talked about-- and the readout made this clear-- a range of issues and global issues that we can continue to work together on, including deterring Iranian-enabled attacks against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, supporting UN-backed efforts to end the war in Yemen, ensuring the stability of global energy supplies. And the president's focus is really on our relationship moving forward, where we can work together, how we can work together on economic and national security here at home, and he looks forward to that continuing.