Egyptian-Americans protest Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi outside the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 2018
Amr Alfiky / Reuters

Since his earliest days on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, U.S. President Joe Biden promised to reexamine Washington’s relationships with authoritarian governments. In an unusually blunt tweet last July, then candidate Biden singled out one of the world’s most abusive autocrats, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, pledging “no more blank checks for Trump’s favorite dictator.” So far, however, U.S.-Egyptian relations have been business as usual.

There is little dispute that Sisi’s rule, a military dictatorship in all but name, is the most repressive in Egypt’s modern history. Since Sisi assumed office in 2014, Egypt’

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