Did Hillary Clinton really apologize to Saudi Arabia for American women in bikinis?

Hillary Clinton Saudi Arabia apologize for women in bikinis
Screengrab: YouTube

While surfing the Internet, I happened upon a post over at the Gateway Pundit which said that Hillary Clinton flew to Saudi Arabia in 2010 and apologized for American women in bikinis while speaking at an all-girls school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Naturally, this piqued my curiosity.  Did Clinton really apologize for U.S. women in bikinis?

There weren’t any links at the Gateway Pundit I could use to verify the claim, so I went digging.

I found this piece of video which seems to corroborate the story:

Wait, what?

Some more digging uncovered this:

Even more digging revealed this from an August 21 article at the New York Post:

And in 2010, Huma Abedin arranged for then-Secretary of State Clinton to speak alongside Abedin’s hijab-wearing mother at an all-girls college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to a transcript of the speech, Clinton said Americans have to do a better job of getting past “the stereotypes and the mischaracterizations” of the oppressed Saudi woman. She also assured the audience of burqa-clad girls that not all American girls go “around in a bikini bathing suit.”

At no point in her long visit there, which included a question-and-answer session, did this so-called champion of women’s rights protest the human rights violations Saudi women suffer under the Shariah laws that Abedin’s mother actively promotes. Nothing about the laws barring women from driving or traveling anywhere without male “guardians.”


So I decided to find that transcript and sure enough, I found it at the State Department’s website.

Here’s the relevant portion of that speech, with emphasis added:

When I was speaking to the women leaders, one of them asked me if I could do anything about the media’s portrayal of Saudi women, particularly the American media, which presents a very unidimensional view and, as the women mentioned to me in our short, small meeting, focusing more on what’s on your head than inside your head or your heart. My answer was, “I wish I could do something about the way the media portrays American women.” I think we all have to do a better job of getting beyond the stereotypes and the mischaracterizations.

I spoke to a group of young people in India some months ago at a forum like this at one of the colleges. And the student questioner was asking about the way Americans think about Indians. And he drew his understanding from what he saw on our media. And I told him then, I said, “I feel the same way.” And if I were living in India, if I were living in Saudi Arabia, and I was watching American media, I would think that every American woman went around in a bikini bathing suit, and every American man wrestled for a living. And at some point we have to say, “Enough.” We have to get to know each other beyond those images.

So, I hope that, in the time we have together, we will have a chance for that kind of dialogue. And I look forward to answering your questions. I hope you will be free to offer your opinions and share your perspectives. I understand that your final exam period has ended, so don’t worry, there are no grades on anything that happens here. But for me, this is a special personal privilege. And I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss matters that are important to you in the time ahead. Thank you all very much.

Basically, she’s attacking the media for allegedly portraying American women as bimbos who do nothing but run around in bikinis.  Personally, I haven’t seen that in a while, so it’s difficult to say what programs she’s referring to.

Nevertheless, her stereotyping isn’t really all that surprising, considering that she once said that Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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