NBC News foreign correspondent Richard Engel dropped a rhetorical bomb on the Obama State Department this weekend when he revealed that late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud was no friend to President Barack Obama.
Engel was responding to the diplomatic statement delivered on behalf of the administration that included a passage reflecting on the "genuine and warm" friendship the president shared with the late king.
"One of the big ironies here is that President Obama, in his statement, said how close he was to King Abdullah... King Abdullah did not like President Obama. In fact, a lot of people I know that are quite close to the late King Abdullah said that the king could not stand President Obama. This close personal bond between the president and the late Saudi leader, I think, is people being polite at a time of a national funeral.”
Engel cited Obama's unquestioning support of the "Arab Spring" movement as well as his abandonment of long-time US ally Egyptian President Mubarak as reasons why Abdullah was less-than-friendly with Obama.