Washington Post columnist Max Boot was roasted on social media over the weekend after he referred to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is believed to be behind the brutal killing of another Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, as a “revolutionary reformer.”
Boot was also slammed for penning a column titled “Cut Biden some slack. US presidents have to deal with dictators” — while others on Twitter reminded him that a year ago he was praising Biden for keeping the “dangerous loose cannon” bin Salman “under control.”
“MBS is a more ambivalent figure than the cartoon villain that he is so often made out to be in media coverage,” Boot tweeted on Sunday.
“It’s true that he is cruel and repressive. But, while illiberal politically, he is liberalizing Saudi society.”
Boot, a neoconservative and former Republican Party supporter who disavowed the GOP following the rise of Donald Trump, then added: “His reforms are revolutionary.”
The tweet prompted others on Twitter to slam Boot.
“He literally chopped your coworker into pieces,” one Twitter user wrote.
Another social media user commented: “Sometimes I hate my job but I’ll admit I’m lucky that none of my coworkers would shrug at my gruesome murder.”
Ken Klippenstein, a reporter from The Intercept, tweeted to Boot: “He bone sawed your colleague.” Klippenstein then posted a screenshot showing that Boot blocked him.
Biden has come under fierce criticism for meeting with bin Salman after pledging during his campaign to shun him as a “pariah” for his alleged involvement in the murder of Khashoggi.
In 2018, Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who was living in the US and writing a column for the Washington Post, was killed during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Western intelligence officials believe that bin Salman dispatched a hit team to kill Khashoggi, a Saudi national who emerged as a frequent critic of the de facto ruler for his authoritarian crackdowns on human rights.
Then-President Donald Trump refused to condemn the Saudi royal for Khashoggi’s killing, prompting outrage.
Biden’s about-face decision to meet bin Salman comes as his administration struggles to bring down soaring oil prices.
The president failed to get a Saudi commitment over the weekend to boost output — this at a time when Americans are grappling with high gas prices.
The Washington Post’s publisher, Fred Ryan, expressed outrage over the weekend at images of Biden fist-bumping bin Salman.
“The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake,” Ryan said in a released statement.
“It was shameful. It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”