Kirby defends Biden tweet on high gas prices after Bezos criticism

John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, on Sunday pushed back on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s tweet the prior day bashing President Biden for calling on “companies running gas stations” to lower their prices.

“Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product,” Biden tweeted on Saturday. “And do it now.”

“Ouch,” Bezos responded. “Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” with guest host Mike Emanuel, Kirby argued that “it’s neither.”

“Anybody that knows President Biden knows he’s plain-spoken and he tells exactly what he’s thinking in terms that everybody can understand,” Kirby said. “So, I think, we obviously take a great exception of the idea that this is somehow misdirection.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also tweeted at Bezon on Sundayb “But I guess it’s not surprising that you think oil and gas companies using market power to reap record profits at the expense of the American people is the way our economy is supposed to work.”

Biden in recent weeks has bashed major oil companies that raked in large profits while raising prices.

His administration has also looked to stem gas prices rising by releasing millions of oil barrels from the nation’s strategic reserve and supporting a federal gas tax holiday.

At last week’s summit with the Group of Seven countries, the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies moved closer to implementing a price cap on Russian oil, although the details of such a plan are yet to be seen.

Meanwhile, the average price for a gallon of gas has decreased slightly to $4.81 as of Sunday after briefly surpassing $5 in recent days, according to AAA.

“He knows that’s not going to solve all the problems but it will help,” Kirby said on Sunday of the Biden administration’s recent moves. “If everybody cooperates on this, we can bring the price down at least by a dollar a gallon.”

When asked about Biden’s stop later this month in Saudi Arabia as part of a broader trip to the Middle East, Kirby declined to say if he was worried that countries may not be willing to increase oil production.

“We’ll see what happens as a result of this meeting and where things go,” he said.

Updated: 3:45 pm

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