Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s day-to-day ruler, is said to be mocking President Joe Biden (D) behind his back and questioning his mental capacity for office.
The Wall Street Journal claim comes after The New York Times revealed that the monarchy had canceled a secret pact with the Biden administration to supply extra oil before the November elections, a move which completely upended the Biden administration’s political and geopolitical strategy.
According to the story, the crown prince consistently mocks President Biden in private, making fun of the 79-year-old’s continuous gaffes and misstatements while casting doubt on his mental abilities.
Salman has also reportedly been unimpressed with Biden for years and prefers interacting with representatives from the previous Trump administration.
Biden officials began meeting with Saudi officials in the spring and purportedly obtained a secret oil agreement in which the country would get the OPEC oil cartel to raise output by 400,000 barrels per day beginning in July rather than September as previously had been anticipated.
The administration had previously claimed that the trip to the kingdom in July had nothing to do with oil, but a new piece from the Times details the “secret agreement” that the administration wrongly believed it had won.
Biden’s team believed they had won the agreement, but Saudi officials were secretly informing others that they had no intentions to proceed.
When the administration realized that the kingdom was going to curtail output, they did all they could to stop them, but nothing worked.
Riyadh has presented the latest OPEC+ decision as critical to its fundamental national interests, claiming that it was necessary to avoid a sudden collapse in petroleum prices.
High oil prices are reportedly now seen by Prince Mohammed as maybe his final chance to leverage the kingdom’s natural riches in order to modernize the Saudi society and economy and attempt to establish a post-oil future.
The newly disrupted relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, which had formerly been extremely solid, now likely puts the U.S. at a disadvantage both in the middle east and globally.
It also likely will have a negative impact on many U.S. initiatives like countering Iran and putting more economic pressure on Russia.