CNN host Jake Tapper cut off a White House adviser Monday as he attempted to pin rising gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tapper asked Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, if Americans should expect prices to continue soaring throughout the summer. Deese said the administration is committed to bringing prices down, before pointing to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as the cause.
“We’re doing everything we can to try to bring those prices down. As you know, this all emanates from Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine which took Russian oil off the market”
“Not all of it,” Tapper quickly interjected. “I mean, some of it, yes.”
“Just to be really clear, since troops started amassing on the Ukrainian border and there was a concern that Russia’s supplies would come off, we’ve seen prices at the pump go up $1.50,” Deese continued. “That is the price hike that is associated with the impact of taking Russian supply off the market, but also to your point, Russian refining capacity as well, because we not only have a shortage of supply of oil, but also the refining capacity to turn that oil into gasoline and diesel as well.”
The White House adviser said the administration is trying to solve the shortage in oil supply by tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which Biden tapped to release an average of 1 million barrels per day in March for 180 consecutive days. The administration is trying to work globally to convert oil into gas that can be used domestically. (RELATED: ‘Are You Guys Just Going To Start Blaming Putin For Everything?’: Doocy Presses Psaki On Inflation And Soaring Gas Prices)
The White House first dubbed the nation’s record high gas prices the “Putin Price Hike” in early March, shortly after Putin invaded Ukraine. The administration has since cited the invasion as the cause of soaring prices, which have reached new record numbers in recent days.
The average price of regular gasoline currently sits at $4.60 per gallon, while the cost of diesel and premium stand at $5.55 and $5.26 respectively.
Gas prices increased months prior to the war in Ukraine, surging to their highest levels since 2014 in mid-November. The rising gas prices led President Joe Biden to tap 50 million barrels from the SPR to combat the first case of soaring prices.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley sparred with Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm at a Thursday hearing after she pinned Putin for rising gas prices.
“Oh nonsense,” Hawley interjected. “All due respect, Madame Secretary, that is utter nonsense. In January 2021, the average gas price of my state was $2.07, eight months later, long before Vladimir Putin had invaded Ukraine, that price was up over 30% and has been going up consistently ever since.”