Crude oil

Trump calls alleged Iranian oil tanker attacks "very minor"

This image is a side profile of Trump as he speaks and stands outside in a suit.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump — in a TIME interview posted late Monday night — downplayed the alleged Iranian attacks against two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, calling them "very minor."

The backdrop: It published just hours after Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced U.S. is deploying an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to "hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups."

The push to secure oil tankers

oil tankers
Tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the UAE. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

The weekend brought fresh pledges to protect oil tankers following last week's attacks in the Gulf of Oman, but markets picked up where they left off Friday, reacting more to bearish economic signs than heightened security fears.

Why it matters: Over 18 million barrels of oil per day — nearly a fifth of global demand — pass through the Strait of Hormuz.