President Trump went out of his way Wednesday to present the expansion of U.S. oil pipelines as proof of his tough stance on Russia, and twisted the facts in the process.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said that by approving the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, he was making life harder on Vladimir Putin.
So now oil is getting to be record low — and gas — because we’re producing so much. That means Russia — and you know Russia … is having a little hard time because it has come down so much.
In making the argument, Trump said, “Dakota Access takes it to the Pacific. Who do they compete with? Russia.” But the pipeline actually goes from North Dakota to Illinois — which even Trump has to know isn’t on the West Coast. Unrelated to Russia, Trump also cited the jobs created by the two pipelines without mentioning that they’re largely temporary.
To further support the argument that he is “no puppet” of Vladimir Putin, Trump touted his support for coal, fossil fuels, renewable energy, and anything that produces energy. In the process he produced this gem of a quote: “I’m a tremendous fracker.”
Trump might actually be on to something when he suggests his love of fracking is at odds with Russian interests. Late last month, two congressmen claimed that sources in Russia revealed that the Kremlin is financing environmental groups to spread disinformation about the controversial practice of extracting natural gas from the earth.
Trump said he couldn’t believe that Putin would support him over Hillary Clinton because she would not have embraced fossil fuels like he has. “Therefore, energy prices will be much, much higher. That’s great for Russia,” he said.
Reporters also asked Trump if he thinks he’ll invite Putin to visit the White House. “I would say yes, yeah. At the right time,” he said.