Guardian: When Joe Biden was recently asked whether gas prices would come down soon, the US president offered a cryptic explanation of how his strained relations with Saudi Arabia were at least partly to blame for the price at the pump.
Gas prices were high because oil-rich nations in the Middle East were not increasing the supply of oil. That was happening, Biden suggested, in retaliation for his personal decision to not speak with – nor acknowledge – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as his counterpart.
“Gas prices relate to a foreign policy initiative that is about something that goes beyond the cost of gas,” Biden said at a town hall meeting on CNN. “There’s a lot of Middle Eastern folks who want to talk to me. I’m not sure I’m going to talk to them.”
Later he added: “There’s a possibility to be able to bring it down, depends a little bit on Saudi Arabia and a few other things that are in the offing.”
The White House has declined to comment further on Biden’s remarks, and did not answer the Guardian’s questions about how the apparent quid pro quo Biden alluded to was communicated to the administration.
But experts in Washington said there was little doubt that Biden’s remarks indicated that Saudi Arabia was demanding more personal attention from the president, despite several high-level meetings in recent weeks between top administration officials and their Saudi counterparts, including a recent trip by Jake Sullivan to meet Prince Mohammed in Riyadh. Read more…