Saudi officials contradicted his account. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, told reporters that he did not hear Mr. Biden tell the crown prince that he was responsible, describing instead a brief and less contentious exchange that focused on human rights without dwelling on the killing.
Mr. Jubeir called the Khashoggi murder “a terrible mistake,” but added that the two countries have moved on. “People were put on trial,” he said, referring to underlings convicted in the case. “We have individuals who are paying the price.”
Mr. Khashoggi was a Saudi contributor to The Washington Post who was critical of the prince’s rule. After his killing, Mr. Biden had said he would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah,” but aides say world events have left him little choice but to deal with the kingdom.
Asked about that remark on Friday, he said, “I don’t regret anything I said.”
But Mr. Biden’s decision to meet with the crown prince left human rights activists and Mr. Khashoggi’s family outraged. Hatice Cengiz, his fiancée, tweeted what she said Mr. Khashoggi would have thought: “Is this the accountability you promised for my murder? The blood of MBS’s next victims is on your hands.”