President Trump said via Twitter Sunday that he has authorized release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve "if needed" in response to the attacks against Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure.

Why it matters: The statement signals high-level White House concern about the effect of the Saudi production outages on the global market.

  • Crude oil prices are surging Sunday evening as markets opened in Asia.
  • Brent crude soared by over $11-per-barrel to nearly $72-per-barrel in trading in Singapore before falling back to $67, per Bloomberg data. (The price will keep moving so check the link for the latest.)

Where it stands: Saudi officials say the attacks took 5.7 million barrels per day worth of production offline — over half of the kingdom's output.

  • It's unclear when full production from the world's top crude exporter will be fully restored. But per the Wall Street Journal, state oil giant Aramco hopes to restore 1/3 of the output by Monday's end.

Quick take: There's also a political dimension to the administration's posture, because the White House likely wants to avoid gasoline price increases heading into an election year.

The International Energy Agency, which coordinates emergency supply management with member nations, said in a statement yesterday that "For now, markets are well supplied with ample commercial stocks."

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.