Gayle King, the host of CBS Mornings, interrogated Vice President Kamala Harris this past Wednesday morning on whether or not the United States was ever planning on sending any physical troops over to Ukraine.
The interview took place in the wake of President Joe Biden’s first formal State of the Union Address, in which he stated over and over that the White House would hold to its choice to stand by the other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members in their support of and sending aid to Ukraine but would never plan on sending any actual troops into the country to repel the currently happening full-scale Russian invasion.
Biden did leave a small out in stating that American troops could be mobilized out to Europe only if President Vladimir Putin tried to stretch his invasion goals to move past the borders of Ukraine and into any member nation of NATO, saying, “Let me be clear, our forces are not engaged and will not engage in conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO Allies – in the event that Putin decides to keep moving west.”
King pressed Harris on what it could take to force Biden to change his mind on the pledge he made to not send any American troops into Ukraine, but Harris refused to answer in any way that deviated from the language directly used by the president.
“I hear you on that, but those images are heartbreaking to watch. We see innocent civilians being killed, we see children being killed, and the administration has made it clear there will be no boots on the ground,” questioned King. “What will it take? Will anything change that? Will we stand by and watch innocent people continue to be killed here?”
“Well, Gail, you’re absolutely right. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s heartbreaking. The image of a missile that fell struck just right next to a children’s playground. The Ukrainians who are, as civilians, taking up defense of their nation out of pride and also an understanding of what is at stake in terms of their vitality and their independence. So it is heart-wrenching, to be sure,” answered Harris.
However, the Vice Preisdent went on to reiterate the administrations current position, adding, “But I will tell you, the president is clear. We are clear. We are not going to put U.S. troops in Ukraine to fight the Russians, not on the ground and not in the air. But we are going to continue working with our allies to one, defend every inch of territory as it relates to NATO territory. But also, we will continue to do with the billions of dollars of humanitarian, security, and military assistance that we have been providing Ukraine. There is so much at stake, and each day we reevaluate and do more to make sure that we are supporting the Ukrainian people.”
“And President Zelensky, who I met with just about a week ago in Munich. He has shown extraordinary courage,” concluded the Vice President. “And in this moment, I think he has been an inspiration to all of us.”