The United States’ reliance on oil from Middle Eastern nations will be a contentious subject during the 2024 presidential election. The current Biden administration appears to be happy with depending on foreign oil suppliers, but previous President Trump fought for more U.S. energy independence and took a hard line with OPEC over oil output.
Reuters reported in the spring of 2020 an incident of then-President Trump’s relations with Saudi Arabia:
“…President Donald Trump gave Saudi leaders an ultimatum. In an April 2 phone call, Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom. The threat to upend a 75-year strategic alliance was central to the U.S. pressure campaign that led to a landmark global deal to slash oil supply as demand collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic – scoring a diplomatic victory for the White House.”
“Trump delivered the message to the Crown Prince 10 days before the announcement of production cuts. The kingdom’s de facto leader was so taken aback by the threat that he ordered his aides out of the room so he could continue the discussion in private… The effort illustrated Trump’s strong desire to protect the U.S. oil industry from a historic price meltdown as governments shut down economies worldwide to fight the virus.”
It currently appears that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has a different opinion of the present administration and will not provide favors.
President Biden has begged the leader not to decrease production at this time, but the prince, informally known as “MBS,” led OPEC+ in its decision to cut output by 2 million barrels per day, resulting in a spike in gas prices one month before the midterm elections in the United States.
Biden stated in an interview with CNN last week that he intends to “reevaluate” Washington’s relationship with Riyadh. The Saudis claim they intend to follow suit.
In July, Biden met with MBS, beginning the conversation with a contentious fist bump with the guy he had previously referred to as a “pariah.” At the time, the fist bump drew criticism, as Salman allegedly sanctioned the 2018 murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Politico said that Biden “laughed off” the criticism at the time.
“Biden chuckled when a reporter mentioned that his interaction earlier Friday with the crown prince had come under fire. Asked by the same reporter whether he can be sure a murder like Khashoggi’s won’t happen again, Biden responded, ‘god love you. What a silly question. How can I possibly be sure of any of that?’.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi officials thought Biden “didn’t want to be there and was uninterested in the policy debate” during the July meeting.
The crown prince was outraged when Vice President Biden addressed human rights crimes, particularly Khashoggi’s killing in 2018. Biden also issued a study early in his presidency implicating MBS to Khashoggi’s dismemberment.
Now that Biden is requesting favors, the leader’s sentiments towards the relationship are evident. The president of the United States has requested that Saudi Arabia postpone its decision on oil output by one month, putting the anticipated action after the midterm elections.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Crown Prince Salman not only rejected President Biden’s request, but mocked the president as well.
The 37-year-old Saudi prince “mocks President Biden in private, making fun of the 79-year-old’s gaffes and questioning his mental acuity,” Saudi government insiders told the Wall Street Journal. CONTINUE READING…