Watch Jake Tapper’s exclusive interview with President Joe Biden on CNN Tonight with Jake Tapper at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday.
President Joe Biden feels it US relationship with Saudi Arabia Needs to be reassessed in the aftermath OPEC + decision last week A spokesman for the National Security Council said to cut oil production.
In an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keeler on “A New Day,” National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby, said Biden “is willing to work with Congress as we consider what The right relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia He needs to move forward.”
“I think the president has been very clear that this is a relationship that we have to continue to re-evaluate, that we need to be prepared to reconsider it. And certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where it is, and he is willing to work with Congress to think about what This relationship must look like it moving forward.
The comments came after Keelar pressed Kirby over strong words from Senate Foreign Affairs Chief Bob Menendez linking the US-Saudi relationship to the Russian war as he said the US should end the relationship. The New Jersey Democratic Representative called for an immediate freeze in US-Saudi relations after OPEC announced an oil production cut last week, and pledged that he would “not give the green light to any cooperation with Riyadh until the kingdom reassess its position regarding the war in Ukraine.”
The Saudi-led OPEC+ oil group announced last week that it would cut production by 2 million barrels per day. The decision of the gathering of major oil producers rejected heavy pressure from US administration officials and Biden prompted him to say he’s worried About the move, which he described as a “disappointment.” He retracted a slight increase in OPEC + production announced shortly after Biden visited Saudi Arabia for a conference in July. The decision to cut production also came just weeks before the midterms, when inflation and the price of the gas pump will be high on the agenda for many voters.
Earlier this year, Biden announced a major release of barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to dampen pump prices. On Tuesday, the White House said it was not considering additional releases beyond the 180 million previously announced.
But after OPEC+ announced its decision on Wednesday, the White House said Biden would “continue to direct SPR releases as necessary,” apparently opening the door once again to potential releases.
Another senior Democratic senator, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia “clearly” wants Russia to win the war in Ukraine and told CNN’s John Berman on “The New Day”: “Let’s be very frank about this.” It’s Putin and Saudi Arabia against the United States.”
“I think it is time for us to imagine a foreign policy in which we are not dependent on Saudi Arabia,” Durbin said, describing the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production as a clear declaration by the Saudis that they are on the other side of history. As we can ask for it.”
When asked what he’s heard from the White House about his and Menendez’s latest push, “I haven’t heard. I’m not going to make anything here. I can only tell you that sentiment in the Senate is strong about what the Saudis have done, and that idea that they’re going to raise our gasoline prices we’re supposed to look at.” The other direction and we call them old people. Boys. To review that. I mean, this is a terrible system. It’s a 21st century kingdom that shouldn’t go out of business.”
Durbin said he was glad Biden tried to reach out to the Saudis to show the United States was willing to sit with them, but Durbin eventually said, “Biden’s little fist there, it wasn’t worth anything,” adding, “I don’t think we can trust them in the future when it comes to it.” essential elements and security interests in the United States.”
There are also persistent questions about whether the Biden administration still believes that Saudi Arabia is worthy of American arms and defense support.
In August, weeks after Biden’s trip to Jeddah, the Biden administration agreed and notified Congress of potential arms sales worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia. According to a US State Department press release, the agency has approved a potential sale of PATRIOT MIM-104E Tactical Ballistic Missile (GEM-T) guided missiles and related equipment to Saudi Arabia for $3.05 billion.
Some congressional Democrats called that support skeptical amid the OPEC+ decision as National Economic Council Director Brian Dees said last week that the administration would consult “closely” with Congress on the matter.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”