Tyler Pager and Cleve R. Wootson Jr. at WP:
President Biden said he confronted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly Friday about the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, telling him in a “straightforward and direct” way that the killing was unacceptable and “making clear what I thought of it at the time and what I think of it now.” The crown prince, who is the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, “basically said that he was not personally responsible for it,” Biden recounted. “I indicated that I thought he was.” U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that MBS, as he is widely known, directed the killing of Khashoggi, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post and an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime. Niden’s comments came at the end of a day when a fist bump between the president and the crown prince — in an image disseminated by the Saudis — quickly took on powerful symbolism ahead of the high-stakes meeting. Human rights activists said the gesture, as Biden and Mohammed met, projected acceptance and even closeness between the two, marking a clear reversal of Biden’s promise to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for its human rights abuses.