Defense Secretary Blinken Stands Up To Putin During ‘CNN Sunday’

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While Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party keep ranting about whatever it is that they’re on about, the Biden administration is keeping up its pressure on the Russian government to abandon what the White House believes to be its plans for an imminent invasion of Ukraine. Over 150,000 Russian troops have been amassed adjacent to Ukraine, and during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that the Biden administration is under the assumption that Putin has already decided to invade Ukraine beyond the territory in the Crimean peninsula that Russian authorities already annexed in years prior. Blinken also strongly reiterated that the Biden team is — under current circumstances — inexorably committed to finding some path to avert further conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Blinken commented as follows:

‘As we’ve described it, everything leading up to the actual invasion appears to be taking place — all of these false flag operations, all of these provocations to create justifications [for military action], all of that is already in train… We believe President Putin has made the decision [to invade Ukraine], but until the tanks are actually rolling and the planes are flying, we will use every opportunity and every minute we have to see if diplomacy can still dissuade President Putin from carrying this forward. President Biden is prepared to engage President Putin at any time in any format if that can help prevent a war. I reached out to my Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Lavrov, to urge that we meet next week in Europe. The plan is still to do that, unless Russia invades in the meantime.’

Check out Blinken’s remarks below:

Biden himself expressed similar sentiments just recently. At the White House, the president insisted that “nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have the freedom to set their own course and choose with whom they will associate. But that still leaves plenty of room for diplomacy and for de-escalation… As long as there is hope of diplomatic resolution that prevents the use of force and avoids incredible human suffering that would follow, we will pursue it.” Claims have spread within certain conservative echo chambers that Biden has been somehow pushing for war, which is utterly ridiculous.

Fox host Maria Bartiromo recently made a somewhat different argument on-air, saying that she “questioned whether or not the whole thing was a ruse with [presidential national security adviser] Jake Sullivan coming out so hysterical over the weekend, telling us to get out of Ukraine and that Russia is going to invade today… Obviously, in retrospect, he was trying to change the conversation from Hillary Clinton and her bad behavior and her dirty tricks against Donald Trump.” Sullivan didn’t actually say Russia would invade “today” — more broadly, it’s an utterly bonkers idea that tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been essentially artificially ratcheted up by the Biden administration to try and distract from the supposed revelation that Hillary Clinton’s team “spied” on Trump in the White House, which is the false notion to which Bartiromo referred. The host added that a hypothetical war would take “off the front page inflation, it also takes off the front page Hillary Clinton and Jake Sullivan pushing the Russia collusion hoax for so many years.”