President Biden was actually operating from a coherent perspective in discussing Russia and Ukraine in Wednesday’s press conference: In every instance, as you go line-for-line in the transcript, his foreign policy—and the fact that he announced it to the world—is one where Russia has leverage over Biden and the president has a personal vendetta against the current Ukrainian government.
When asked whether sanctions would deter Vladimir Putin from attacking Ukraine, our commander in chief replied that Russia “will be held accountable if it invades,” but then clarified: “It depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.” Biden then juxtaposed a “minor incursion,” which would lead to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) fight over how to respond, with Russia doing “what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border.”
In that case, Biden assured the audience—which surely included Putin and his top military leaders—“our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy.” Biden then proceeded to ramble aloud his internal thoughts on Putin’s thinking before adding, in reference to Ukraine, “My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.” . . .
For years, the anti-Trump contingent used the Steele dossier and its claim that Russia held leverage over the president to fan the flames of a Trump-Russia conspiracy. But the Russia-leverage narrative extended beyond the discredited dossier and continued throughout Trump’s term.
For instance, in a May 2019 article titled, “Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy ‘Is One Where Russia Has Leverage Over Him,’ Former CIA Official Says,” Newsweek discussed a former CIA and defense official’s appearance on MSNBC. Appearing on the cable network’s “Morning Joe,” Jeremy Bash “argued that Trump’s international policies appear to be impacted by Russian ‘leverage over him’” the Newsweek article explained. (Read more from “If Trump Had Greenlighted Russia to Invade Ukraine Like Biden Just Did, He’d Be Accused of Corruption” HERE)
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