WATCH: Psaki Attempts To Dodge More Questions About Ukraine

Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, was intensely questioned by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy throughout a press conference this past Friday concerning what possible actions have been taken by the administration in regards to Russia launching a full-scale invasion into Ukraine that have actually been effective.

“There’s a report in The New York Times that you guys kept asking China to help you stop Russia from invading Ukraine and they didn’t,” started Doocy. “So, what have you guys done throughout this slow-moving Russia crisis that has worked?”

“The President talked to Putin. He talked to the G7. He threatened sanctions. He put sanctions in place. Now he says the sanctions are going to take 30 days or about a month,” continued the reporter. “Do you guys think that people in Ukraine have about a month?”

“Well, Peter, let me just take a step back and explain to everyone how diplomacy works and how our approach from the United States has worked. What the president has done is he has built a global coalition to stand up in the face of President Putin and President Putin’s aggression and invasion of Ukraine,” exclaimed Psaki. “What he has done is he has rallied the world, our European partners — even at cost to them, in some capacities — to put in place significant sanctions, historic sanctions that would have a enormous impact on the Russian financial sector. It is President Putin’s choice to go to war and invade Ukraine. That is what he has done. It is our choice and our responsibility and the role of the President and the United States to rally opposition and make sure they feel significant pain from that choice. That’s exactly what we have done.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS REPORTER: Thank you, Jen.  The State Department just said, about the U.S. and Russia, that there are still some areas in which the fulfillment of our national security priorities and imperatives require us to engage and coexist.  How is it that we are still engaging and coexisting with the Russians?

JEN PSAKI, PRESS SECRETARY:  Well, Peter, I would say diplomacy around the world requires us to engage with countries, even where we have strong disagreements, strong opposition, strong condemnation. We’ve been very outspoken and taken actions against China’s human rights abuses, but we have worked with them in other capacities. We are working — Russia is a part of the P5+1, as we’re working and making progress on an Iran nuclear deal.  There’s no question that achievement of that would make the world safer. So it is our responsibility.  And — and diplomacy means engaging even with countries where you have strong disagreement and strong opposition.

DOOCY: And just so that we can understand, then, the approach: That means that you guys will sit here and sanction Vladimir Putin and then send diplomats to go sit on the same side of the table with the Russians to hash out the Iran deal.  Is that what’s happening?

PSAKI: That’s right, Peter, but I don’t know why you sound so skeptical.  What our job here in the United States and from any government is to take steps that are in the interest of the American people and the United States of America.  And part of that is — would certainly be reducing Iran’s capacity and ability to have a nuclear weapon.  I think there’s no question about that.  Russia is a part of the P5+1.

DOOCY: Okay.  There’s a report in The New York Times that you guys kept asking China to help you stop Russia from invading Ukraine and they didn’t.  So, what have you guys done throughout this slow-moving Russia crisis that has worked?

PSAKI: In what capacity?

DOOCY: Well, the President talked to Putin.  He talked to the G7.  He threatened sanctions.  He put sanctions in place.  Now he says the sanctions are going to take 30 days or about a month.  Do you guys think that people in Ukraine have about a month?

PSAKI: Well, Peter, let me just take a step back and explain to everyone how diplomacy works and how our approach from the United States has worked. What the President has done is he has built a global coalition to stand up in the face of President Putin and President Putin’s aggression and invasion of Ukraine.  What he has done is he has rallied the world, our European partners — even at cost to them, in some capacities — to put in place significant sanctions, historic sanctions that would have a enormous impact on the Russian financial sector. It is President Putin’s choice to go to war and invade Ukraine.  That is what he has done.  It is our choice and our responsibility and the role of the President and the United States to rally opposition and make sure they feel significant pain from that choice.  That’s exactly what we have done.

DOOCY: And I understand that you’re saying that these sanctions will have an impact on Russia, but what good does that do these people in Ukraine who are seeing the news and these U.S. intel assessments that Kyiv is going to fall any day?

PSAKI: Well, Peter, first of all, we are the largest provider of humanitarian assistance, of security assistance in the world to the Ukrainian — to the Ukrainian government, which still stands and support — and the biggest supporter of the Ukrainian people.  And we will continue to be.  And we are leading this global effort to stand up against the aggression of President Putin. And so we are doing — the President is doing nearly everything in his power to lead the world and stand up against the actions of President Putin. What he will not do is send U.S. troops to fight in Ukraine, because he is not going to put the American public, the American people, or the United States in a position of fighting a war with Russia. 

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