‘Have you decided whether or not to go to Saudi Arabia,’ Biden is asked by a reporter.
‘No, not yet,’ the president replies on camera.
But moments later as Biden spoke on the tarmac in Los Angeles at the foot of Air Force One, the president said that he was in fact going.
‘What would be holding up the decision at this point? Are there commitments from the Saudi’s you’re waiting for?’
‘It happens to be a larger meeting taking place in Saudi Arabia. That’s the reason I’m going’, he said. ‘It has to do with national security with the Israelis. It has to do with much larger issues than the energy.’
President Joe Biden told reporters that he hasn’t decided whether to visit Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil
Seconds later as Biden spoke on the tarmac at the foot of Air Force One, Biden said that he was in fact going
The White House is expected to announce the trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel this week, a source familiar with the planning said on Sunday.
Biden’s trip, which is expected to take place around mid-July, could include a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the source added.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed a Biden trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia was being planned. ‘We have no further trip details to confirm, but we will announce as soon as we do,’ the spokesperson said.
Biden’s trip, which is expected to take place around mid-July, could include a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured
The White House has said Biden feels that the crown prince is a ‘pariah’ for his role in the killing of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018
The White House has said Biden feels that the crown prince is a ‘pariah’ for his role in the killing of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey in 2018.
Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul tainted the crown prince’s image as a reformist. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by him.
The visit would be aimed at bolstering relations with Saudi Arabia at a time when Biden is trying to find ways to lower gasoline prices in the United States.
On Saturday, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline reached $5
Gas prices have shot up in recent months amid Russia’s continued assault of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions western countries have imposed on Russian oil, which pulled more than 1 million barrels of oil off of global markets.
In March, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would ban Russian oil and natural gas, warning Americans that ‘defending freedom is going to cost.’
But gas prices were already high at the time due to increased demand as the economy started to recover from COVID-related shutdowns, as well as increased travel demands going into the summer.
At the same time, though, many oil companies closed a number of their refineries as demand plummeted during the pandemic.
By Saturday, the national average price of gasoline reached $5 a gallon – up 60 cents from a month ago and up nearly two dollars from just one year ago, according to the New York Times.
The average price of gas, meanwhile, was above $4 in all 50 states – and in California, the price exceeds $6 a gallon, while in Minnesota, the price was $4.72.
Energy experts now estimate that for every penny the price of gas increases, it costs Americans an extra $4 million a day, with the average American paying $450 gas month for their fuel needs.
And research by the Bank of America Institute, which uses anonymous data from millions of their customers’ credit and debit card accounts, shows spending on gas eating up a larger share of consumers’ budgets and crowding out their ability to buy other items.
For lower-income households – defined as those with incomes below $50,000 – spending on gas reached nearly 10 percent of all spending on credit and debit cards in the last week of May, the institute said in a report this week.
That’s up from about 7.5 percent in February, a steep increase in such a short period.