Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is being connected by the former president’s critics to the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production just one month away from the United States’ midterm elections.
Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson suggested in a tweet that Kushner “call the Home Office in Riyadh.”
In the spring, The New York Times reported that Kushner spearheaded a U.S. government-sponsored program called the Abraham Fund intended to raise $3 billion for Middle East-related projects. That followed previous reports that Kushner’s private equity firm received a $2 billion check from Saudi Arabia—the same nation that, along with Russia, agreed Wednesday to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day to raise prices.
“Entire MAGA ecosystem now firmly aligned with the geopolitics of Saudi Arabia and Russia,” tweeted Simon Rosenberg, founder of the New Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based liberal think tank. “Their leader is an actual business partner with the Saudis and a political partner of Putin.”
“Did Jared visit the Saudi’s at DJT’s urging, seeking higher oil prices to harm the Dems in the midterms? Just wondering,” tweeted Robert Reich, former labor secretary under President Bill Clinton.
Democratic representatives Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Sean Casten of Illinois and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania have even introduced legislation asking for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Trump, whose Bedminster golf club hosted the Saudi-financed LIV Golf Invitational Series still hasn’t commented on the OPEC decision. That could very well be intentional.
“Given that the Saudi decision follows Biden’s high-profile visit earlier this year, Trump would be wise to stay out of the way,” Austin Carson, an associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago, told Newsweek.
President Joe Biden‘s administration immediately called the decrease of approximately 2 percent of global oil supply “shortsighted,” tossing blame on the Russia-Ukraine war.
Aside from the U.S. Department of Energy delivering an additional 10 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the market next month, the administration plans to consult Congress on methods “to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices.”
The OPEC decision will increase domestic gas prices—notably in California and the Pacific Northwest—and “will contribute to the inflation we’ve been experiencing,” University of Notre Dame finance professor Jeffrey Bergstrand told Newsweek.
“Also is the probability of a more prolonged recession because the Federal Reserve is committed to getting the inflation rate, including energy prices, down to a 2 percent annual rate,” Bergstrand said. “Anything such as this that raises the costs for consumers and producers makes whatever recession that unfolds over the next year even more severe.”
Newsweek reached out to Kushner for comment.
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