White House officials were left angered that Saudi Arabia backed out of a secret deal to increase oil production through the end of the year, The New York Times is reporting.
President Joe Biden had traveled to Saudi Arabia this summer and left believing the deal was sealed. But in early October, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman led OPEC Plus in its decision to cut production by 2 million barrels per day.
The move came after U.S. lawmakers had been informed about the trip's benefits and details of what the administration believed was an agreed upon deal. The Times noted the lawmakers are now fuming that the crowned prince duped the administration.
The Times said its information came from interviews with American officials and officials from Gulf Arab nations, along with Middle East experts.
The newspaper reported that just days before the cuts were announced, American officials said they had received assurances from the crown prince there would be no decreases in oil production. And after learning of the cuts, American officials made an unsuccessful attempt to try to reverse it.
After the cuts, angry Biden officials said the administration was going to reassess America's relation with the kingdom. The White House also claimed that Saudi Arabia was helping Russia in the war with Ukraine.
The Saudi Energy Ministry said in a statement that "the kingdom rejects these allegations and stresses that such mischaracterizations made by anonymous sources are entirely false. The decisions of OPEC Plus are reached by the consensus of all members and determined solely by market fundamentals, not politics."
Adrienne Watson, a National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement: "We have a disagreement with Saudi Arabia over the most recent production cut, but our energy policy has always focused on prices, not number of barrels — and that policy is succeeding with crude oil prices down over 30 percent this year alone."
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that the crown prince mocked Biden after rejecting the deal.
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 said.
The crown prince told his advisers he had not been impressed with Biden since he was vice president and that he "much preferred" former President Donald Trump.
Jeffrey Rodack ✉
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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