US president Joe Biden spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman ahead of the release of a potentially explosive US intelligence report which is set to accuse his nephew Mohammed bin Salman of complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mr Biden, who has already seen the intelligence report, is said to have insisted that he speak to King Salman only - and not to Mohammed bin Salman, his nephew and Crown Prince. During the presidential election campaign, Mr Biden described Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” and claimed its government had “very little social redeeming value". Mr Biden's insistence in speaking to King Salman is seen as an attempt to sideline 35-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, who is regarded as the de facto ruler of the country. “The president’s intention, as is the intention of this government, is to recalibrate our engagement with Saudi Arabia,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said this week, signalling that the Crown Prince could become persona non grata under President Biden.