Ukraine Remarks By Biden Get Jen Psaki Cleanup

Ukraine Remarks By Biden Get Jen Psaki Cleanup

Ukraine Remarks By Biden Get Jen Psaki Cleanup

At his long-winded press conference on Wednesday, Joe Biden tried to talk tough about Vladimir Putin and the Russian threat to Ukraine. But he went into Too Much Information mode, causing Jen Psaki and the White House to scramble to clean up Joe’s mess.

 

Biden: Yeah, Russia’s Gonna Invade Ukraine

Flipping through his notes while at the podium, Biden at first sounded like the strong man standing up to Putin. But then he went off script, sounding more like a guy who’s hoping to get a deal on a car:

“I’m not so sure he has, he’s certain what he’s going to do. My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.”

But not to worry, dear Ukraine! Maybe it’ll only be a “minor incursion.” Kind of like being a little bit pregnant.

“It depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we have to end up having to fight about what to do and not do, etcetera.”

That sent the White House into panic mode. OMG, he made it sound like Putin has the green light to enter Ukraine! Because Putin, a former KGB guy, has a particular set of skills, and that’s to sniff out weakness. Although, truth be told, that’s not terribly hard in Biden’s case.

So press secretary Jen Psaki had to issue an official White House statement to circle back on Biden’s remarks.

 

She also added:

“President Biden also knows from long experience that the Russians have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And he affirmed today that those acts of Russian aggression will be met with a decisive, reciprocal, and united response.”

 

Shock and Disbelief from Ukraine

So do you feel better about Ukraine, and Europe in general, with Joe Biden at the helm? After he has “long experience,” as Psaki put it.

Yeah, well, neither do I. Nor do the Ukrainians, who “watched those remarks in horror,” according to CNN’s Matthew Chance. Chance also reported this from a Ukrainian official:

“This gives the green light to Putin to enter Ukraine at his pleasure.”

The official added that he’d never heard anyone from any US administration say anything like that before.

As for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, he told visiting US Senators that sanctioning Russia after an invasion — even a “minor incursion” — won’t help at all. A source in Ukraine added:

“Putin does not understand these kind of vague threats. ‘If’ is not in his vocabulary. There’s ‘yes’ and there’s ‘no.'”

And guess who just happens to be in Ukraine right now? None other than Secretary of State Antony Blinken. So while Jen Psaki has to clean up Biden’s mess at home, Blinken has to deal with the reaction in Kyiv.

 

Reaction in the United States

American officials were also stunned by Biden’s remarks. For example, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman tweeted this:

I am deeply troubled by @POTUS’ comment insinuating that a Russian invasion may just be “a minor incursion.” This is the wrong way to view this threat. Any Russian military incursion into Ukraine should be viewed as a major one that could likely destabilize Ukraine and Europe.”

While former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley called Biden’s comments a “train wreck.”

“Imagine being Vladimir Putin and contemplating invading Ukraine. Then you see this train wreck of a press conference broadcasting Biden’s weak leadership. Biden is emboldening Putin. This is so embarrassing.”

Plus, Richard Haass, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, said he doesn’t understand Biden’s logic. Or lack of logic, perhaps:

“Don’t understand logic of @POTUS suggesting he believes Russians will move into Ukraine & that if they do it in a relatively  small way there would be less of a price to pay.”

 

Alexei Navalny Weighs In

While Vladimir Putin may not be afraid of Joe Biden, there is one man whom TIME Magazine says that Putin does fear. That’s Alexei Navalny, the Russian dissident whom Putin tried to poison, who now sits in prison yet runs a network of insurgents who work to oust Putin.

Navalny/Ukraine

Alexei Navalny. Esther Dyson/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0.

No one knows a Russian like another Russian. And Navalny says that Putin has no fear of the United States, or of NATO. In fact, he claims that Putin’s professed nervousness is a “smokescreen:”

“Instead of ignoring this nonsense, the US accepts Putin’s agenda and runs to organize some meetings. Just like a frightened schoolboy who’s been bullied by an upperclassman.”

Plus, Navalny says that Putin’s greatest fear is of dissenters like him in Russia. So to unite the country, Putin launches into wars.

“To consolidate the country and the elites, Putin constantly needs all these extreme measures, all these wars — real ones, virtual ones, hybrid ones or just confrontations at the edge of war, as we’re seeing now.”

So what would Alexei Navalny advise Joe Biden do? Go after his money!

“It’s really simple. You want to influence Putin, then influence his personal wealth. It’s right under your backside.”

Like I said, no one knows a Russian like another Russian. And if anyone knows what it would take to rattle Vladimir Putin, it just might be Alexei Navalny.

But no. Instead Joe Biden sticks his foot in his mouth — again. Jen Psaki and the White House have to scramble to cover for him. And Vladimir Putin sits back and laughs, relishing the thought of a “minor incursion” — or not-so-minor — into Ukraine.

 

Featured image: Photoshop by Brand X Studio. 

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

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