After being repeatedly questioned by reporters about the recent Saudi Arabian mass execution, Ned Price, spokesperson for State Department got in another heated exchange.
Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia executed 81 men on Saturday in a single day, making it the most brutal mass execution in recent decades.
Charges, according to the report, ranged from terrorism-related offenses to holding “deviant beliefs.”
“Rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia of enforcing restrictive laws on political and religious expression, and criticized it for using the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors,” the outlet contends.
This mass execution is happening as the Biden administration actively engages with Saudi Arabia about oil production.
EXCLUSIVE: The chair of one of the most prominent 9/11 family coalitions has written to Biden with concerns about possible renewed engagement with Saudi Arabia, calling on him to uphold his campaign pledge to make the Kingdom a “pariah.”https://t.co/5GBKtdjysi
— Axios (@axios) March 11, 2022
RELATED: ‘The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah Eviscerates Biden: World Leaders Would Never Have Dared To Ignore Trump’s Phone Calls
State Department Spokesman Ned Price Won’t Condemn
Ned Price from the State Department responded to a reporter asking if the United States was willing to condemn mass executions in Saudi Arabia.
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“On Saturday, Saudi Arabia carried out a mass execution of 81 people, drawing condemnation from rights groups,” she said. “Does the United States also condemn the executions?”
Price refused, and repeated the phrase that the administration had ‘raised concerns’ over human rights and fair trials in general.
“We continue to raise with Saudi Arabia the need to ensure fair trial guarantees, freedom from arbitrary and extrajudicial detention, transparency, the rule of law, and freedom of religion and belief,” he replied.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee chimed into the exchange saying incredulously, “So that’s it? You don’t have anything else to say about 81 people just being summarily – being executed?”
Lee continued pressing Price to find out if human rights have been considered in these cases.
“Well, do you think that happened here?” he asked.
The State Department spokesman replied that the administration is “continuing to raise concerns about fair trial guarantees.”
Lee quipped, “Did you express concern over the weekend?”
“Can’t speak to the timing of that, but we have raised these concerns,” Price replied.
No statement from the U.S. government on Saudi Arabia’s 81 summary executions.
Ned Price was simply asked several times. This was all that they received from him.
It is relentlessly pursuing socialist governments every day for CIA-manufactured human right violations. pic.twitter.com/qxvhPPJbBX
— Camila (@camilapress) March 14, 2022
RELATED: 9/11 Victims’ Families Critize Biden for Calling on Saudi Arabia to Provide More Oil
Are They Raising Concerns?
The reporter kept trying to get an answer out of Price as to whether or not the State Department specifically ‘raised concerns’ about the mass executions in Saudi Arabia after they happened.
“So you didn’t call them after this happened or when you saw the report?” Lee asked, which Price snapped was an attempt to “put words in my mouth.”
Here is a list of victims #Saudi #MBSMass executions are happening today. @StateDeptSpox https://t.co/6LNnSZi40E @WHNSC
— Ali AlAhmed (@AliAlAhmed_en) March 13, 2022
Lee pressed Price on the administration’s vow to no longer treat Saudi Arabia with “kid gloves.”
President Biden had vowed to hold Saudi Arabia accountable and treat them as a “pariah,” which he contended would be a departure from the Trump administration.
“We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price, and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are,” he said at a Democrat debate in 2019.
Lee continued: “It’s one thing if you don’t think that there’s an issue with the mass execution of 81 people over the weekend, but if you —”
“In the category of not putting words in my mouth, I did not say that,” Price responded.
NBC’s @PeterAlexander: “The President, as a candidate, said in Nov. of 2019 of Saudi Arabia–he said we would ‘make them pay the price & make them, in effect, the pariah that they are. There is very little social redeeming value’…Does President Biden stand by those words[?]” pic.twitter.com/5fqZVGMzbV
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 7, 2022
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refused to take calls from President Biden.
Administration denies the existence of this report.
Left-wing host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah, mocked Biden over the alleged snub from the Arab nations.
It seems that even Trevor Noah has grown tired of Biden. He’s right, Trump wouldn’t take crap from anyone but Biden is the laughing stock of international politics.pic.twitter.com/MxwVwQYI7X
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) March 13, 2022
Other reports indicated that Biden’s advisors were considering a trip to Saudi Arabia to “convince the Kingdom to pump more oil.”
Lee has also had some history of getting in heated exchanges with the State Department spokeswoman.
Price was visibly upset with the reporter just last month when Lee demanded evidence for the administration’s claim that Russia was about to carry out a ‘false flag’ operation in Ukraine.
“You have shown no evidence to confirm that … What is the evidence? I mean, this is like ‘crisis actors,’ really?” Lee charged.
“This is like Alex Jones territory you’re getting into,” he continued. “What evidence do you have to support the idea that there is some propaganda film in the making?”
Reporter: “It’s an action that you say they have taken, but you have shown no evidence to confirm that. […] This is like – crisis actors? Really? This is like Alex Jones territory you’re getting into now.”
The must-see exchange between @APDiploWriterMatt Lee @StateDeptSpox. pic.twitter.com/RPIPb2zwf5
— The Hill (@thehill) February 3, 2022
Families of victims of 9/11 have criticized President Biden for engaging Saudi Arabia over oil output, demanding he maintains focus on “accountability” for the terrorist attacks.
Perhaps the State Department can ‘raise concerns’ in regards to that as well.