CNN anchor Jake Tapper intervened on Monday after one of President Biden’s top economic advisers sought to blame the record surge in gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
The exchange occurred after Tapper pressed White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese for answers on how long Americans will face surging gas prices.
The national average for a gallon of gas hit a record $4.598 per gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA.
“Speaking of exorbitant prices, another issue affecting Americans right now is skyrocketing gas prices,” Tapper said. “Today on average, gas is costing $4.60 a gallon. That’s up more than 10 cents a gallon from last week and almost 50 cents from last month.”
“We’re one week away from Memorial Day. Should Americans be buckling up for these high prices for the entire summer?” Tapper asked.
Deese responded by saying the Biden administration is “doing everything we can to try to bring those prices down.” He also repeated the White House’s frequent talking point that Putin was directly responsible for the problem.
“As you know, this all emanates from President Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine,” Deese said.
“Not all of it,” Tapper interjected, cutting off Deese mid-sentence. “Not all of it. Some of it, yes.”
After the interruption, Deese attempted to expand on his point.
“Just to be really clear, since troops started amassing on the Ukrainian border and there was the concern that Russian supplies would come off, prices at the pump go up $1.50. That is the price hike that is associated with taking Russian supply off the market,” Deese said.
“But also, to your point, Russian refining capacity as well, because we have not only a shortage of supply of oil, but also the refining capacity to turn that oil into gasoline and diesel as well,” he continued. “We’re doing everything we can to bring more supply onto the market.”
Biden’s efforts to pin the gas crisis on Putin’s actions has drawn sharp criticism from Republican lawmakers who argue his crackdown on domestic energy production has contributed to the current price surge.
In March, experts told The Post that the price of oil would drop if Biden announced support for increased US production.
Biden drew renewed criticism this week after he appeared to link higher gas prices as part of an “incredible transition” toward green energy.
“When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said.