Jun 30, 2018

Trump: Saudis agree to large oil production hike

President Trump and King Salman at the 2017 Arabic Islamic American Summit. Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump said on Twitter Saturday morning that King Salman of Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase its oil production by as much as 2 million barrels per day "because of the turmoil and disfunction in Iran and Venezuela."

The big picture, from Axios' Ben Geman: A number of analysts have pointed out that, by publicly pressing OPEC for higher production in recent weeks and months, Trump could be seeking to gain politically from a production-increase that the cartel and Russia were slated to make anyway, because the market has tightened considerably. Elevated oil prices — and hence, higher gasoline prices than in recent years — could be politically perilous for Republicans in an election year.

Yes, but: If what Trump says is accurate, and Salman did agree to the 2 million barrels, it would be a surprising development because it goes well beyond the production hike that OPEC and Russia agreed to during careful negotiations in Vienna, which concluded June 23. Pumping that much would also erode Saudi Arabia's spare production capacity.

  • Saudi Arabia released a statement on President Trump and King Salman's phone call, saying they "stressed the need to make efforts to maintain the stability of oil markets, the growth of the global economy, and the efforts of producing countries to compensate for any potential shortage of supplies."
  • No specific promise was made to Trump, a Saudi official told the WSJ.

Go deeper with Ben on Trump's pyrrhic OPEC outcome.

Go deeper

Trump's media allies condemn conspiracy tweets about Joe Scarborough

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Right-wing media and some conservative lawmakers have taken the rare step of criticizing President Trump over his tweeting of conspiracy theories that accuse MSNBC host Joe Scarborough of murdering a congressional aide, Lori Klausutis, in 2001.

The state of play: Trump has received widespread backlash over his tweets spreading the baseless accusations, including from Klausutis' widower. Authorities at the time suspected no foul play in Klausutis' death and ruled that it was a result of an irregular heartbeat that caused her to collapse and strike her head.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 5,644,562 — Total deaths: 352,789 — Total recoveries — 2,323,860Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 1,691,342 — Total deaths: 99,724 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Business: African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs saysDisney plans phased reopening on July 11Author Ann Patchett says bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  6. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  7. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France's health ministry advised doctors on Wednesday that hydroxychloroquine "should not be prescribed" to coronavirus patients, citing a lack of evidence as to the drug's benefits.

By the numbers: More than 5.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).