Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster last week. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

A series of weekend statements about OPEC and Saudi Arabia from the Trump administration are helping to put downward pressure on oil prices.

The latest: Oil prices dropped slightly Monday, and MarketWatch notes one reason is that investors were "rattled" by President Trump's weekend tweet suggesting Saudi Arabia may sharply boost output.

The big picture: More broadly, the comments signal White House unease about the election-year state of oil markets and the limits to what they can do about it, despite the surge in U.S. shale production.

  • Trump's statements also highlight the tricky dynamic he faces of trying to force sharp cuts in Iranian exports, while also ensuring enough supplies in global markets to avoid price spikes.

Head-spinning: To recap the weekend action...

  • Early Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that Saudi Arabia's king pledged to boost production by up to 2 million barrels per day. That's a level that would go beyond the recent OPEC-Russia agreement in late June.
  • Late Saturday night, the White House softened the comment, noting King Salman reaffirmed the Saudi's readiness to use some of its 2 mbd spare capacity to help balance the market.
  • Sunday morning on Fox News, Trump took a critical posture, claiming OPEC is "manipulating" the market; "has to" pump more; and that the 1 million bpd increase OPEC and Russia agreed to last month is too low.

Thought bubble: As Axios' Steve LeVine noted yesterday, Trump's talk with Salman put the U.S. back in the pre-shale age, when presidents routinely went to the Saudis asking and sometimes pleading for boosts or cuts in production for U.S. economic purposes.

Yes, but: The White House may have yielded some benefit from the busy weekend. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday afternoon that White House aides saw the call as helpful...

  • "One measure of the call’s value is that it provoked a hostile reaction from Iran, which sees the president’s intervention on global oil production as a threat to their interests, administration aides say. On Saturday, Iran accused Riyadh of doing Washington’s bidding."
  • But the WSJ piece warns, "a boost in Middle East production may not be enough to stem the price rallies that have hit consumers."

Go deeper: Trump says OPEC "has to" pump more oil.

Go deeper

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.