President Donald Trump poked fun at reports that law enforcement officials thought he might be a secret Russian agent by citing a “Fox and Friends” segment about low gasoline prices and record U.S. oil production.
“‘Gas prices drop across the United States because President Trump has deregulated Energy and we are now producing a great deal more oil than ever before,'” Trump tweeted Monday morning, attributing the quote to “Fox and Friends.”
“But this is bad news for Russia, why would President Trump do such a thing? Thought he worked for Kremlin?” Trump tweeted.
“Gas prices drop across the United States because President Trump has deregulated Energy and we are now producing a great deal more oil than ever before.” @foxandfriends But this is bad news for Russia, why would President Trump do such a thing? Thought he worked for Kremlin?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
Trump is referring to a New York Times report that the FBI opened an investigation into whether or not the president was “knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
According to The Times, FBI officials began their investigation days after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in 2017. FBI officials who supported the counterintelligence investigation into the president “argued that sitting on it would have been an abdication of duty,” The Times reported.
The Times report, published Friday, says many FBI officials “involved in the case viewed Russia as the chief threat to American democratic values,” and that some even “pushed to move quickly before Mr. Trump appointed a director who might slow down or even end their investigation into Russia’s interference” in the 2016 election.
Trump and his allies have repeatedly pushed back on reports the president colluded with or pushed policies to benefit Russia during his tenure, often citing Trump’s policies to encourage for oil and gas production. (RELATED: Trump Wants $5.7 Billion For The Wall. One Month Ago, Chuck Schumer Wanted Much More Than That For Green Energy Subsidies)
The administration has rolled back regulations on oil and gas drilling and taken steps to open up more onshore and offshore areas to energy exploration. Federal onshore oil production reportedly hit record levels in the first half of 2018.
Total U.S. oil production temporarily topped 11.7 million barrels per day in November, a record high, and the country surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia last year to become the world’s top oil-producer.
Energy experts say soaring U.S. oil production helps suppress global oil price benchmarks, hurting countries, like Russia, that heavily rely on energy exports. Russia’s finances took a big hit when oil prices tanked in 2014 in response to rising U.S. production and OPEC’s decision not to cut output.
Gasoline prices are largely tied to oil price swings. Gas prices were on the rise earlier this year as oil prices climbed, but have since eased. Oil prices have fallen around $20 per barrel since October from roughly $80 per barrel to less than $60 per barrel.
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