Before you roll your eyes at the above headline, let’s get a few facts out of the way:
- White people like Donald Trump: According to Gallup’s daily presidential approval poll, President Trump’s job approval among whites is 51 percent and 17 percent among nonwhites.
- Uneducated white people elected Trump: According to the Pew Validated Voter Survey, which analysts called “the most reliable exit poll” for the 2016 elections, 64 percent of white people who didn’t graduate from college voted for Donald Trump. By comparison, only 18 percent of nonwhites who didn’t graduate from college voted for Trump.
- Uneducated white people support Republicans: According to the Pew Research Center, 83 percent of the people who identify as Republican or Republican-leaning are white and 59 percent are non-college educated whites.
- White people believe Trump: According to Quinnipiac University polling, 66 percent of all Republicans and 45 percent of white Republicans without a college degree “would say that Donald Trump is honest.”
Because of these indisputable, objective facts, it is no surprise that news outlets chose not to even mention the fact that Donald Trump claimed that he regularly lowers fuel prices by calling his homeboy and telling him to open up the oil reserves.
During a press conference with Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain on Tuesday, the press peppered the president with questions about an apparent attack on Saudi oil facilities. Unprompted, the president reached deep into his rectal cavity and pulled such tremendous piece of bullshit out of his ass that apparently no one even bothered to fact-check it. I’ve Googled it 14 different ways and couldn’t find any media stories about Trump’s assertion that he sometimes calls up the Saudi Crown Prince and requests a little help with the gas prices.
Here’s an excerpt from the official White House transcript.
TRUMP: They’ve been a great ally. They spend $400 billion in our country over the last number of years. Four hundred billion dollars. That’s a million and a half jobs. And they’re not ones that, unlike some countries, where they want terms; they want terms and conditions. They want to say, “Can we borrow the money at zero percent for the next 400 years?” No. No. Saudi Arabia pays cash. They’ve helped us out from the standpoint of jobs and all of the other things. And they’ve actually helped us.
I would call and I would say, “Listen, our oil prices, our gasoline, is too high. You got to let more go.” You know that.
CROWN PRINCE SALMAN: Yeah.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would call the Crown Prince and I’d say, “You got to help us out. You got to get some more.” And, all of a sudden, the oil starts flowing and the gasoline prices are down. No other President can do that. No other President was able to do that, or maybe they didn’t try. But I’ve done it.
Ok, let’s go back to a few more facts:
- We don’t get that much oil from Saudi Arabia: According to the non-partisan US Energy Information Administration, Saudia Arabia accounts for 9% of US petroleum imports. We get nearly five times more oil from Canada.
- Trump has told this lie before. In April, Trump actually tweeted that he “spoke to Saudi Arabia” and told them to increase the flow of oil. It is not clear if the president spoke to the entire country or just yelled at a map of the Middle East, but CNBC reports that OPEC Secretary-General, the Saudi Energy Minister, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed and the president of OPEC all said they didn’t know what the fuck Trump was talking about.
- This may be against the law: Section 811 and 812 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 states: “It is unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to use or employ, in connection with the purchase or sale of crude oil gasoline or petroleum distillates at wholesale, any manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance, in contravention of such rules and regulations as the Federal Trade Commission may prescribe as necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of United States citizens... It is unlawful for any person to report information related to the wholesale price of crude oil gasoline or petroleum distillates to a Federal department or agency if– (1) the person knew, or reasonably should have known, the information to be false or misleading; (2) the information was required by law to be reported; and (3) the person intended the false or misleading data to affect data compiled by the department or agency for statistical or analytical purposes with respect to the market for crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum distillates.”
- Congress thinks this should be against the law: A bill working its way through Congress would make Trump’s actions illegal. The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, or NOPEC, would essentially authorize the Justice Department to sue foreign nations who work together to limit oil production and set prices.
In February, a senior White House official slammed this exact behavior, stating that “The United States is firmly committed to open, fair and competitive markets for global energy trade...We do not support market-distorting behavior, including cartels,” Reuters reports.
But I guess no one cares.
The only reason Trump told this blatant lie is that he knew he wouldn’t be challenged by the mainstream media. And the mainstream media didn’t bother to call him out on it because they are keenly aware that most Trump supporters don’t care that he lies. Most white people approve of his actions.
But the larger percentage of Trump’s base are true believers. Most white people believe the Civil War had less to do with slavery and more to do with “northern aggression” and that the flag is a symbol of “Southern pride” Most Trump backers believe Obama is a Muslim. The vast majority of whites don’t believe that blacks are discriminated against in voting or hiring practices. Most white people believe this country has gone far enough to give black people equal rights.
Trump knows that he can falsely credit himself for the low prices at your corner Exxon for the same reason white people really believe he’s a stable genius who worked his way to billionaire status with nothing but a dollar and a dream. The poor uneducated whites truly believe they can do it too if they stand for the anthem, support the troops and put their faith in the American Dream.
But again, they will believe anything.