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Has President Biden lost liberal comedian Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”?
In an opening monologue during the week, Noah expressed frustration about a Wall Street Journal report that said Biden’s calls to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – seeking support for Ukraine and help with surging U.S. gas prices – were rejected.
Noah claimed that rejected phone calls were one thing that Biden’s predecessor – former President Donald Trump – never would have had to deal with.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Noah told viewers Wednesday night. “Apparently, Saudi Arabia won’t even pick up the phone for the president of the United States.
‘Biden is asleep by 4 p.m.’
“I mean, look, I know it’s hard to arrange those calls. You know, Riyadh is eight hours ahead, Biden is asleep by 4 p.m., it’s a narrow window to make it work, but still: That must have been really embarrassing for Biden. Can you imagine? He phones them and they don’t pick up?”
“You have got to be kidding me. Apparently, Saudi Arabia won’t even pick up the phone for the president of the United States.”
Noah continued later: “Now, according to the White House, this story is totally untrue. They deny it, which I would too. But either way, man, there is no denying that Saudi Arabia isn’t playing ball with Joe Biden. And you know what? You can say what you want, but this would have never happened to Donald Trump. Never.
“Now, according to the White House, this story is totally untrue. … But either way, man, there is no denying that Saudi Arabia isn’t playing ball with Joe Biden.”
Trevor Noah is seen at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, March 14, 2021.
“No one was ever ignoring Donald Trump’s calls. ‘Cause if you ignored Donald Trump’s calls, you didn’t know how he would respond. Maybe he’d send an angry tweet, or maybe he’d just, like, ban your country from everything. You don’t know.
‘President Wild Card’
“That’s why I bet, in these situations, Biden actually wishes that he could hire Trump to step in as ‘President Wild Card.’ You know, just keep everyone on their toes. ‘Cause if Trump was calling, you best believe the UAE, they’d be racing to pick up the phone.”
Noah then launched into an imaginary phone call between Trump and a UAE leader.
“No one was ever ignoring Donald Trump’s calls. ‘Cause if you ignored Donald Trump’s calls, you didn’t know how he would respond.”
“Mr. Trump! Mr. Trump! We’re here. Hello?”
“Too late, Achmed! You made me wait two rings. We’re bombing the UAE – and the UFC, just in case.”
According to the Wall Street Journal story, which was published Tuesday, the Mideast phone snubs of Biden happened as both countries were becoming increasingly critical of Biden administration policies in the Persian Gulf region.
President Biden, left, drew a different reaction from Persian Gulf nations than former President Trump would have drawn, Trevor Noah argued.
On Feb. 9, Biden managed to get a phone conversation with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, the 86-year-old father of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but was unable to speak directly with the leader known as “MBS.”
“There was some expectation of a phone call [with MBS], but it didn’t happen,” a U.S. official told the Journal.
The Saudis have been seeking more support from the U.S. for their involvement in Yemen’s civil war as well as help with their own nuclear program to keep pace with Iran, the Journal reported.
In addition, the Saudis are also seeking legal immunity for MBS in connection with the 2018 killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi, the report said.
Inadequate US response?
The Emiratis, meanwhile, have concerns of their own about Iran – and they and the Saudis viewed as inadequate the recent U.S. response to missile strikes by Iran-backed militants in Yemen against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Journal reported.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the Journal’s report of Biden’s phone calls being denied was “inaccurate,” Yahoo News reported.
Then-President Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 20, 2018. (Associated Press)
“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,” Psaki said, according to the report.
The White House has been trying to court Persian Gulf allies, as well as Venezuela, as the U.S. looks to offset the effects of rising fuel prices as the West responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Biden announced the U.S. was banning all imports of Russian oil, gas and other energy products.
Meanwhile, another liberal comedian who recently compared Biden and Trump was Bill Maher, during Friday’s episode of HBO’s “Real Time.”
Toward the end of the show, Maher argued it was “worth asking” why Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to invade Ukraine during Biden’s presidency instead of Trump’s.
“If Putin thought Trump was really that supportive of him, why didn’t he invade when Trump was in office?” Maher reacted. “It’s at least worth asking that question if you’re not locked into one intransigent thought.”
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