US Faces Global, Russia-Related Difficulties

Politicians and White House officials expressed national and economic fears about Russia and North Korea on Sunday’s television programs. 

North Korea’s latest ballistic missile tests, OPEC+’s decision to curb oil production, and Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats have officials scrambling. 

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Multiple Republicans on Sunday shows slammed Biden’s description of Putin’s threats as “armageddon.” 

Issues With Russia

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on “Fox News Sunday”  informed host Shannon Bream that a president speculating about Armageddon at a fundraiser is a big risk to the American people. “He should be serious if he believes it.” 

GOP Rep. Don Bacon called Putin a “cornered animal” as his force faces setbacks in four Ukrainian territories Russia captured this month. Bacon, like Pompeo, criticized Biden’s fundraising statement. 

The Biden presidency threatened Russia with harsh consequences if Putin goes through on his promises. White House officials say they’ve informally outlined the U.S. reaction. 

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told ABC’s Martha Raddatz the stakes are high. 

Journalists also grilled officials on OPEC+’s Wednesday announcement to restrict daily oil production by two million barrels, which is likely to boost oil prices and Russia’s export profits to support its war in Ukraine.

The oil-exporting alliance’s stance was a blow to the Biden presidency, which wanted to boost production to offset inflation and gas costs after Russia’s incursion. 

After stating he would render Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Biden traveled to the oil-rich country in July to plead to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Allianz Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian said the oil cartel’s output cutback “didn’t surprise me.” 

The Middle East and North Korea

Some senators are reevaluating the U.S.-Saudi military partnership, due to the production cutback. 

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, said the relationship “is shattered.” 

Murphy remarked on CNN that the United States sells the Saudis many guns. He suggests rethinking those sales. He thinks we should lift OPEC+’s immunity from U.S. price-fixing culpability. He says we should examine our Middle East and Saudi Arabia footprints. 

Former CIA and Defense Department official Rep. Elissa Slotkin said the Saudis will live with the choice “for a long time.” Slotkin argued that, at best, they didn’t benefit the planet. They sided with Putin.

Federal authorities are also sounding alarm bells in the Pacific, where North Korea has routinely launched nuclear missiles, including two on Saturday. 

Launches have heightened regional tensions. After previous launches, the U.S. staged military drills with South Korea and Japan. “We’re working on stronger trilateral coordination,” Kirby stated on ABC. 

He stressed they would defend national security interests if necessary. He said they might meet Kim Jong-un without prerequisites to find a diplomatic solution. 

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