New! Listen to our weekly View in Review podcast.
Sunny Hostin didn't hold back with her condemnation of President Joe Biden, who has been criticized for fist-bumping Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman late last week.
Though her co-hosts suggested Biden's meeting with MBS, who is reported to have ordered the 2018 assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is just the cost of doing business, Hostin remained critical of Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia. "I had a problem when Trump did it, but I don't think Biden gets a pass just because he's a Democrat, just because he's a Democratic president," she said. "It's bad no matter how you look at it ... It's just not okay."
"I understand that he was there because of the oil crisis. I understand that we should be taxing American oil companies that are gouging Americans. That's really what we should be doing," Hostin continued. "But the bottom line is this was an unforced error. The White House is saying, 'Well, it's because of COVID he was fist bumping.' Well, he was shaking hands with people in Israel. He was shaking hands with the Palestinian Authority. He didn't have a mask on."
Hostin went on to say Biden "fist bumping this guy who is clearly a murderer" is disrespectful to Khashoggi's fiancée. "Again, this is a murderer. You don't normalize a murderer by this fist bump," she said. "It was the photo op [MBS] wanted, and we've normalized these relationships."
PRES. BIDEN CRITICIZED OVER SAUDI ARABIA TRIP: #TheView panel weighs in on the president receiving backlash for fist bumping Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is accused of approving the murder of 'Washington Post' journalist Jamal Khashoggi. https://t.co/meVEvuDb7k pic.twitter.com/DlWMn6P36Y— The View (@TheView) July 18, 2022
When Joy Behar pressed her about whether the fist bump is "really normalizing it," Hostin insisted it is. "Yes, absolutely. This is the rehabilitation that MBS wants, and Joe Biden gave that to him," she said.
After the commercial break, Sara Haines described Biden's trip to Saudi Arabia as "one of those necessary evils" of global politics.
"They are the antithesis of American values and Western values ... There are so many things that go on in that country that should turn everyone's stomach," she said. "But when you read in further, the reason every president has gone over there is the more important part."
"This is a chess game when it comes to international relations. It's not checkers. This is not as simple as it appears in an image," she said, citing Saudi Arabia's strong relationship with China and oil exports. "These things have such a domino effect that when I look it it, it sickens me, but I realize it's one of those necessary evils. It's the keeping your friends close, keeping your enemies closer."
Elsewhere on The View... Haines and Behar, both of whom were out all of last week, addressed their lengthy absences. While Haines thought she had a sinus infection before testing positive for COVID-19, Behar had a non-COVID-related virus that kept her in bed for days.
"I'm here to remind everybody there are diseases out there besides COVID!" said Behar. "I did not eat for four days. I was sick, and I just didn't get out of bed."
When Whoopi chimed in to say Behar looked "so thin," the longtime co-host fired back with a joke, saying, "Well, that's the good news about being sick!"
Love/hate The View? You'll love/hate our new podcast . Listen now:
People are talking about The View in our forums. Join the conversation.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.