Another October surprise, this time directly from Saudi Arabia

When Trump was president and US oil production was at its peak, so we competed directly with Saudi Arabia, which should have created hostility on the latter’s part, Saudi Arabia and America had a strong relationship. The Saudis liked and trusted Trump especially when it came to his dealings with Iran. The opposite is true for the Saudi relationship with Joe Biden. While Biden’s attacks on American oil production have enriched the Saudis, they disrespect him and feel betrayed by his dealings with Iran. 

That may explain the October surprise bombshell that the Biden administration begged them to delay their announcement about oil cuts until after the midterm election. Today, that same bombshell exploded a bit harder when Saudi Arabia officially confirmed what the Biden administration had done.

Image: Biden and Mohammad Bin Salman fist bump. YouTube screengrab.

The original story broke yesterday, along with a vehement White House denial that, of course, blamed Putin. Today, however, the Saudis slapped back at the Biden administration, saying explicitly that the Biden administration tried desperately to delay the cut in oil production until after the midterms:

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said Thursday morning that US officials 'suggested' postponing the decision to reduce output by two million barrels a day by a month until after November 8, when millions of Americans will cast their ballots.

The Kingdom also brushed off suggestions it sided with Russia by insisting it took a 'principled position' on the Ukraine war and said the OPEC decision was entirely based on economics, not politics.

That official pronouncement forced the Biden administration to acknowledge that it had, indeed, attempted to block the drop in Saudi oil production until after the midterms, although it attempted to write the whole thing off as a big nothing:

The Biden administration admitted Thursday it had asked Saudi Arabia to delay the OPEC+ vote to cut oil production until the cartel’s next meeting – after the midterm elections.

“We presented Saudi Arabia with analysis to show that there was no market basis to cut production targets, and that they could easily wait for the next OPEC meeting to see how things developed,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

The Riyadh-led group of oil producers’ next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4, according to the OPEC website.

As always, the White House brought Russia into the mix to excuse its own malfeasance:

“The Saudi Foreign Ministry can try to spin or deflect, but the facts are simple: The world is rallying behind Ukraine in combating Russian aggression,” he said. “In recent weeks, the Saudis conveyed to us — privately and publicly — their intention to reduce oil production, which they knew would increase Russian revenues and blunt the effectiveness of sanctions.”

What’s worrying is that the new, official White House line is that it is “reevaluating” America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not a nice place by Western standards, but there are two things to consider here. First, while the Saudis may be bad guys, they are our bad guys and have been allied with us against Iran, a nation that has as its official policy “death to America.” Second, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been a reformer, proceeding very slowly and carefully, but still proceeding. It’s unclear what being cut off from America will do to those reforms.

The White House’s sleazy effort to hide from the voters its cavalier attacks on the American economy lends credence to Monica Crowley’s claim that the administration is deliberately destroying the American economy to consolidate government power. It is nice to see the Saudis pushing back, but the whole thing is deeply disturbing when it comes to America’s well-being and the malevolence of those who are currently in power.

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