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WATCH: Psaki Appears To Sneer At Reporter Who Asks If High Gas Prices Are Politically Damaging

   DailyWire.com
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 6, 2021.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to sneer briefly at a reporter who asked if surging gas prices could be politically damaging to the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections.

Gas prices have soared to their highest prices in seven years, which has contributed to surging inflation rates.

“On oil prices, you’ve alluded a couple of times today to the impact on what actual gas price is, I think it’s over $3 a gallon now, huge amount of travel over the holiday weekend. What is the president doing for regular Americans to try to keep the gas prices down, whether it be engaging with OPEC?” a reporter asked Psaki. “But also is the president considering releasing from the strategic reserve or are there other steps that the president can take to address what is obviously a painful situation and how much do you guys worry on his behalf that it will become a political issue that could be damaging to the president and his party in the coming election?”

“In 18 months? 17 months? Okay,” Psaki responded. “So I would say first, Mike, that the president wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump. And so that’s why our team is constantly monitoring gas prices and directly communicating with OPEC parties to get to a deal and allow proposed production increases to move forward.”

Psaki claimed that there were “many times” a “misunderstanding of what causes gas prices to increase” even though gas prices are higher now under Biden than they ever were under former President Donald Trump.

“And so to convey to the American people that we’re working on it, and certainly the supply availability of oil has a huge impact,” Psaki claimed. “I would also say that ensuring Americans don’t bear a burden at the pump continues to be a top priority for the administration at large. That’s one of the core reasons why the president was opposed, vehemently opposed, to a gas tax and any tax on vehicle mileage because he felt that would fall on the backs of Americans and that was a bottom line red line for him. In terms of additional considerations, I just don’t have anything to preview for you.”

WATCH:

PORTIONS OF TRANSCRIPT RELEVANT TO OIL & GAS INDUSTRY:

REPORTER 1: Just one more quick one. OPEC Plus, it’s in a statement yesterday that you guys are currently engaged with the various players, even though you’re not a part of the negotiation, can you elaborate a little bit on what that means?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Sure. We are closely monitoring the OPEC Plus negotiations and their impact on the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As you noted Phil, we’re not a party to these talks, but over the weekend and into this week, we’ve had a number of high-level conversations with officials in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other relevant partners. We’re encouraged by the ongoing conversation by OPEC members to reaching an agreement. The ongoing talks I should say. Which will promote access to affordable and reliable energy, and certainly the impact on prices here is hence our great interest. Go ahead.

REPORTER 2: Can you tell us which administration officials have been engaging with the Saudi and UAE governments on this issue?

PSAKI: I don’t have more details about the individuals. I can see if there’s more specifics to provide for you after the briefing.

REPORTER 2: And then, on the US engagement in the talks. I know that you said the U.S. isn’t a party to the talks, but have these officials engaged or encouraged a specific solution, such as keeping production levels where they are currently through the end of the year?

PSAKI: Well, I would say first we are engaged directly with them to hear updates on the conversations that are happening between the OPEC members. I can see, of course, and we are constantly monitoring the price of gas in this country, and we know the impact of oil prices around the world is having a direct impact on that. In terms of additional specifics of the conversations, I’m just not going to have anything more to read out for you.

REPORTER 2: And then lastly, just gaging the concern level here at the White House, is there any chance of President Biden would personally get involved in contacting these governments?

PSAKI: I’m certainly not predicting that at this moment in time. We have high level officials who are talented and aptly engaged with their counterparts and I will see if there’s more specifics we can provide about who the individuals are.

REPORTER 3: Two questions, one on the oil prices and one on COVID. On oil prices, you’ve alluded a couple of times today to the impact on what actual gas price is, I think it’s over $3 a gallon now, huge amount of travel over the holiday weekend. What is the president doing for regular Americans to try to keep the gas prices down, whether it be engaging with OPEC? But also is the president considering releasing from the strategic reserve or are there other steps that the president can take to address what is obviously a painful situation and how much do you guys worry on his behalf that it will become a political issue that could be damaging to the president and his party in the coming election?

PSAKI: In 18 months, 17 months? Okay. So I would say first, Mike, that the president wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump. And so that’s why our team is constantly monitoring gas prices and directly communicating with OPEC parties to get to a deal and allow proposed production increases to move forward. And the reason I’ve referenced it so many times is because I think there sometimes is a misunderstanding of what causes gas prices to increase. And so to convey to the American people that we’re working on it, and certainly the supply availability of oil has a huge impact. I would also say that ensuring Americans don’t bear a burden at the pump continues to be a top priority for the administration at large. That’s one of the core reasons why the president was opposed, vehemently opposed, to a gas tax and any tax on vehicle mileage because he felt that would fall on the backs of Americans and that was a bottom line red line for him. In terms of additional considerations, I just don’t have anything to preview for you.

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