Russia, Saudi Arabia may be manipulating oil prices to help Trump: MSNBC

Gas prices hit an average $3.67 per gallon on Thursday

An MSNBC panel entertained the conspiracy theory that Russia and Saudi Arabia are purposefully driving up oil and gas prices to help Trump politically in the fall.

"The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle" introduced the idea in a segment remarking on how gas prices are slowly climbing up ahead of the election. Though Ruhle noted that gas prices often rise before the summer, she suggested something more sinister influencing the rise.

"Now, this is a common thing going into the summer. More people drive more. It pushes up demand. That is normal. But there are other reasons as well. Ones that might be more deliberate, even political. Like Saudi Arabia and Russia continuing to cut oil production until June and remember when production is down, prices go up," Ruhle said.


Gas prices soared in 2022 but have dropped slightly

Gas prices increased by approximately 6% in April. (Getty Images)

She introduced former Jeb Bush communications director Tim Miller and former Benie Sanders campaign advisor Chuck Rocha, who appeared to agree with her.

"One of the biggest concerns I have had this year, I have several concerns this year, but one of the bigger ones was exactly what we are talking about now. I think it’s pretty clear that [Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] would rather have Donald Trump in the White House. Same with Putin of course. And so, there might be some monkey business with oil prices that go beyond June into this year. I think that that’s something that the White House is going to have to contend with," Miller commented.

Ruhle later remarked, "These prices are not the fault of President Biden…we’ve got the highest oil production in U.S. history and some overseas oil producers who would sure like to help DJT."

"Let me be clear that the Republicans know how to use this and will use this against Joe Biden," Rocha said, adding that people "will blame the person in charge even if he has nothing to do" with gas prices.

Since 2023, Saudi Arabia as well as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been cutting back on oil production with no sign of it ending any time soon.


Joe Biden Gas Prices

The Biden administration saw record level gas prices in 2022. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

According to AAA data, the national gas price average as of Thursday was $3.67 which marked a 6% rise since last month. This marked a more than 50% price increase in the national average since Biden took office in Jan. 2021.

Gas prices also rose to a record national average of over $5 per gallon in June 2022 under President Biden. 

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