Earlier Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted out that he had “just spoke” to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and asked him to increase oil production due to the ongoing “dysfunction in Iran and Venezuela.” He claimed: “He has agreed!”
But, later in the day, King Salman’s position according to the White House was that they were maintaining two million barrels per day, and they would only increase capacity “if and when necessary.”
That sounds like an entirely different statement completely.
Steve Kopack of CNBC pointed this out.
This morning Trump said was “asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production” on a call with Salman and “he has agreed!” Tonight, WH says Salman “affirmed that the Kingdom maintains a two million barrel per day spare capacity” which it will use “if and when necessary” pic.twitter.com/Xsicbuv5bj
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) July 1, 2018
Following up on this report, the Wall Street Journal got an even more embarrassing answer, straight from the Kingdom itself.
According to a senior Saudi official, Trump did indeed speak to King Salman but was given no promises. Instead, they said: Trump was told that Saudi Arabia had the capability to meet the demand. That was it.
To make things more ambiguous, Trump’s tweet, while implying that King Salman agreed to ramp up production, could have just simply meant that the King agreed that prices were too high. That’s not how the world took it, though.
Here’s the statement the White House released concerning the call between Trump and the King:
In response to the president’s assessment of a deficit in the oil market, King Salman affirmed that the kingdom maintains a two million barrel per day spare capacity, which it will prudently use if and when necessary to ensure market balance and stability, and in coordination with its producer partners, to respond to any eventuality,” the statement reads.