Trump says Iran appears to be culprit for Saudi oil attacks
Jeck Deocampo • September 17, 2019 • 160
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday (September 16) said it looked like Iran was behind attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia at the weekend that raised fears of a fresh Middle East conflict, but added that he did not want war with anyone.
Iran has rejected U.S. charges it was to blame for the attacks which damaged the world’s biggest crude processing plant in Saudi Arabia and triggered the largest jump in crude prices in decades.
Several U.S. cabinet officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, have blamed Tehran for the strikes.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani saying the strikes were carried out by “Yemeni people” retaliating for attacks by a Saudi-led military coalition in a war with Yemen’s Houthi movement.
Asked by a reporter in the White House if Iran was behind the attacks, Trump said: “It’s certainly looking that way at this moment and we’ll let you know. As soon as we find out definitively we’ll let you know but it does look that way.”
The attacks cut 5% of world crude oil production.
Two sources briefed on state oil company Saudi Aramco’s operations told Reuters it might take months for Saudi oil production to return to normal. Earlier estimates had suggested it could take weeks.
Tension in the oil-producing Gulf region has dramatically escalated this year after Trump imposed severe U.S. sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its oil exports altogether.
The U.S. leader said he did not want to act hastily.
“We have a lot of options but I’m not looking at options right now we want to find definitively who did this. We’re dealing with Saudi Arabia. We’re dealing with the crown prince and other of your neighbors. And we’re all talking about it together. We’ll see what happens,” he said.
Trump downplayed the impact of a spike in oil prices in the wake of the attacks on Saudi oil plants, saying prices had not risen much and that the United States and other countries could offset the increase by releasing more supply.
“They haven’t risen very much and we have the strategic oil reserves, which are massive, and we can release a little bit of that, and other countries … can be a little bit more generous with the oil, and you’d bring it right down,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he met with Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. (REUTERS)
President Donald Trump took a loop around the Daytona 500 racetrack on Sunday (February 16) in the presidential limousine known as “The Beast,” drawing cheers from fans at NASCAR’S most prestigious race.
Ramping up his nationwide re-election effort after his acquittal in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial, Trump served as the grand marshal at the annual National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing event, which takes place in the electoral swing state of Florida.
After his motorcade made its way around part of the track, Trump took a break to take pictures with supporters.
After being driven a full lap in the limo before the race began, Trump delivered the opening line: “Gentlemen, start your engines” at the Daytona International Speedway before a crowd of 100,000.
Previous presidents who attended NASCAR events at the speedway include Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
Florida is one of a handful of U.S. states that swing between Democrats and Republicans in presidential elections.
Trump won the state, where he has golf courses and a home that is now considered his primary residence, in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. (Reuters)
The Philippine Navy ships, BRP Davao del Sur (LD602) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16), have arrived in Oman to help in the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) affected by the tensions in the Middle East.
The ships arrived at Sultan Qaboos Port late on Wednesday afternoon (February 5).
In a statement, Philippine envoy to Oman, Ambassador Narciso Castañeda said the navy contingent are “all safe and sound” upon arriving in Oman.
“The troops are very happy and in high spirits since this event serves as another milestone for our Navy that we can already transcend across the deep waters of Indian Ocean or the Arabian Sea,” he said.
He also assured that the embarked sailors and marines “are ready to assist and support the government effort in repatriating our unsung heroes, the OFWs in this Middle East conflict.”—AAC
President Donald Trump, facing a bruising re-election campaign and possible further investigations in Congress, celebrated his acquittal on impeachment charges on Thursday (February 6) in a speech that drew on White House pomp to underscore the fact that he remained in office.
After walking down a red carpet to a standing ovation from scores of Republican lawmakers, administration officials and conservative media figures in the White House, Trump re-aired old grievances and accused Democrats of staging a “corrupt” effort to undermine his presidency.
“We went through hell unfairly. Did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit. Not purposely. But I’ve done things wrong. But this is what the end result is,” he said as he held up a morning newspaper, with a headline reading “Trump acquitted.”
“And there’s nothing from a legal standpoint, this is a political thing. And every time I’d say ‘this is unfair, let’s go to court’, they say ‘sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics’. And we were treated unbelievably unfairly. And you have to understand, we first went through ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’. It was all bullshit. We then went through the Mueller report,” he added.
The Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday voted to acquit Trump on charges bought by the Democratic-led House of Representatives, only the third time in U.S. history that a president has been impeached.
The acquittal was Trump’s biggest victory yet over his Democratic foes in Congress, who attacked Senate Republicans for refusing to call witnesses or seek new evidence at the trial. (Reuters)
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