The White House briefed 30 TikTok stars on the Russia-Ukraine war and the record-high gas prices hitting Americans, blaming Vladimir Putin.
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Ellie Zeiler, an 18-year-old with more than 10 million followers on the Chinese-owned app, posted a video to answer the question, “Why is gas so expensive?”
“Why is gas so expensive, and why is the United States inflation rate at a four-time decade high?” she asked. “I had the opportunity to ask the White House why gas down the street is $7 and here’s what they said.”
She said the “obvious reason” is the end of the pandemic and more people are starting to travel again.
“But the call was predominantly about Ukraine and Russia, so how does that relate?” she continued. “Russia is one of the top three producers of oil and it is actually their No. 1 revenue source. Now, with Putin starting this horrific fight between Ukraine and Russia, nobody wants to work with him and do international trade.”
The White House told the TikTok influencers who were invited on the zoom call to blame the high gas prices on Putin. pic.twitter.com/qBCEA6r2C7— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) March 14, 2022
Zeiler told the Washington Post she considers herself a “White House correspondent for Gen-Z.”
The Post published a recording of the March 10 briefing. When Zeiler asked her question, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki answered her question by blaming several factors, including Putin.
“It’s his actions, President Putin, that is prompting the rising gas prices,” Psaki said in part of her lengthy response. “That is what is happening.”