During a Friday press conference at the White House, Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki ended up once again shredding an ignorant line of questioning from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, who seemingly implied that failures by the Biden administration were somehow at least partly fundamentally at fault for recent violent developments in Ukraine. It’s a sentiment that’s been more directly expressed elsewhere in MAGA-world; somehow, these people claim that supposed weakness on the part of Joe Biden and his team is at fault for choices that Vladimir Putin has made… although it’s Trump, not Biden, who was recently singing the praises of Putin. Doocy asked about a report claiming that the Biden administration unsuccessfully reached out to Chinese officials for diplomatic assistance in getting Russia to stand down in its targeting of Ukraine, adding as follows:
‘So, what have you guys done throughout this slow-moving Russia crisis that has worked?.. The President talked to Putin. He talked to the G-7. 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 the people in Ukraine have about a month?’
Watching @ZelenskyyUa is awe inspiring. He is the Elected leader of a democratic nation and his life is on the line. Compare him to the American cowards who buckled at mean tweets from Trump and allowed him to assault American democracy with lies and poisonous conspiracies.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) February 26, 2022
Psaki did not sound impressed. She replied as follows:
‘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 an 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 in the United States to rally opposition and make sure they feel significant pain from that choice. That’s exactly what we have done.’
Check out that portion of the exchange between Doocy and Psaki below:
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki forced to explain to Fox News' Peter Doocy "how diplomacy works."
— David Badash (@davidbadash) February 25, 2022
In sharp contrast to the Biden administration’s consistent stance against Russian aggression targeting Ukraine, Trump remarked after the Russian government rolled out recognition for two independent countries on Ukrainian territory and revealed troop deployment plans for the areas that Putin was “savvy.” That point came before the full-fledged invasion of Ukraine that Russian authorities launched. As for substantive steps, the Biden administration has — as Doocy and Psaki discussed — outlined sanctions targeting various elements of Russian society. In recent comments at the White House, Biden explained some of those sanctions are “going to stunt the ability to finance and grow the Russian military,” adding: “Today, we’re also blocking four more major banks. That means every asset they have in America will be frozen. This includes VTB, the second-largest bank in Russia, which has $250 billion in assets.”
The next few days, weeks, and months will be hard on the people of Ukraine. Putin has unleashed a great pain on them.
But the Ukrainian people have known 30 years of independence — and they have shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 25, 2022