On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that President Joe Biden visiting Saudi Arabia after vowing to make them a pariah “sends kind of a message that if you have enough oil and you have enough money, you can buy your way into having a different kind of reputation.” And stated that Saudi Arabia is taking advantage of its leverage on energy.
While discussing the PGA-LIV merger, Rhodes stated, “It’s all been a methodical effort since that Khashoggi murder to methodically rebuild the reputation of Saudi Arabia by buying into sports and culture and business and elements of U.S. and European society. And, at a certain point, we are demonstrating that that works, even, frankly, the President of the United States said he’d make Saudi Arabia a pariah on the campaign, and then visited there. It sends kind of a message that if you have enough oil and you have enough money, you can buy your way into having a different kind of reputation.”
He added, “I’m sure that the United States is motivated by some fears that you’re going to see Saudi Arabia drift into that kind of China column, particularly with the war in Ukraine and with high energy prices and, obviously, with the interest in normalization with Israel. What I would hope, though, is that we don’t consistently have to check our values at the door.”
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