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Our Team is Governed by Idiots

Donald Trump meets with Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, March 2017.jpg
By The White House from Washington, DC – Foreign Leader Visits, Public Domain, Link

This story about the “decision-making” that went into the MBS-Putin clusterfuck is fascinating:

“Just before that meeting there was a call between Putin and MBS. MBS was very aggressive and gave an ultimatum. He threatened that if there is no agreement, Saudi would start a price war.

“The conversation was very personal. They shouted at each other. Putin refused the ultimatum and the call ended badly,” the Saudi official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

And if you’re asking yourself “could Kush find time amid his myriad responsibilities to fuck this one up, too?” then you’ll be pleased to discover the answer:

Before getting aggressive with Putin, bin Salman checked in with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, who has been described as “the prince’s most important defender inside the White House”, according to a second source who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The call [to Putin] had Trump’s blessing through Kushner. Kushner did not ask MBS to do it, but Kushner knew about it and did not veto it. Bin Salman drew his own conclusions,” the source said.

And like a well-oiled machine:

The collapsing oil price was initially hailed by Trump, who initially presented it as an opportunity to fill up the US’s own reserves with cheap oil.

“We’re going to fill it right up to the top, saving the American taxpayer billions and billions of dollars, helping our oil industry [and furthering] that wonderful goal – which we’ve achieved, which nobody thought was possible – of energy independence,” he said.

But the White House subsequently reversed course after protests from US oil producers, many of whom have invested in more costly shale oil extraction and require significantly higher prices in order to break even.

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