NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell really managed to set off Press secretary Jen Psaki after suggesting that the Biden administration’s whole plan to deal with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine was to “just watch this get worse.”
As part of the standard afternoon press briefing on Friday, O’Donnell questioned Psaki about Old Uncle Joe’s plan going forward, seemingly asking as to whether officials within the administration had effectively limited themselves by issuing the pledge to refrain from sending in any service members from the American military to fight for the defense of Ukraine.
— Tommy moderna-vaX-Topher (@tommyxtopher) March 5, 2022
“Can you give us any sense of a timeline or a triggering event that would result in this policy change regarding Russian oil and any decisions that may be forthcoming? Is that imminent? Or is there something that — you know, is there an event — an outside event that you’re waiting for?” posed O’Donnell.
“I wouldn’t say, Kelly, it’s an outside event,” answered Psaki. “I think our continuing concern continues to be — you know, everybody wants to hold President Putin and the Russian leadership accountable. Everybody supports the efforts that the Pres — President Biden has been leading around the world to take — put in place crippling financial sanctions, and they have had an enormous impact.”
Psaki then took time to state that the administration was trying to prevent any actions that could lead to a spike in the cost of gas to the American public while also trying to stay in line with its western allies.
“Can you speak to how the President has steeled himself, hardened himself, if you will?” stated O’Donnell. “He’s made a commitment not to put American troops in a military position in Ukraine. You’ve outlined all the steps the U.S. and allies are taking. But he’s also watching what is happening, as are many Americans who are concerned about the atrocities that are taking place, the loss of life, the civilians that are being affected. Does the U.S. just watch this get worse? Is that what we should all be prepared for?”
“I would just argue we’re hardly ‘watching,'” fired back Psaki. “We have been — we have provided a billion dollars in military and security assistance, including a range of defensive weapons that we have expedited delivery to the Ukrainian leadership and Ukrainian military. We have been the largest provider of economic and humanitarian assistance. We have rallied the world to stand up against President Putin. We are not ‘watching.’ The President is leading the world in responding to this.”
“However, he is not going to put U.S. military men and women serving on the front lines of battle in Ukraine to fight Russia,” ended Psaki. “That has never chan — that has never been his plan, never been his policy, and he has no intention of doing that.”
It has also been officially confirmed by the Biden administration that, despite the vast number of requests from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the United States will continue to refrain from assisting in the creation of a “no-fly zone” in Ukraine airspace. There have been quite a few officials from the Biden administration that have tried to explain that due to the fact that it would force U.S. forces to fire upon Russian planes, it would only end up causing a further escalation of the conflict.