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Psaki Tries to Walk Back Biden's Latest Gaffe, Reveals Something Horrifying Instead

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki gave a rather disconcerting answer when asked why President Joe Biden had suddenly decided to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress on Wednesday via video, Biden announced new U.S. military assistance that would be going to the besieged nation.

Following his announcement, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Biden if Putin is a war criminal, given everything the president has seen. Zelenskyy’s presentation to Congress had included a powerful video highlighting the devastation of the war.

Biden first responded, “No.”

He then continued making his way through the room, but soon thereafter returned to the journalist, asked for clarification and answered, “Oh, I think he is a war criminal.”

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Later in the day, Psaki was asked during a news briefing what accounted for the change. The administration had previously said only that Putin was under investigation for potential war crimes.

Psaki replied that it was the news coverage Biden watched on TV that informed his answer.

“The president’s remarks speak for themselves,” she said. “He was speaking from his heart and speaking from what he’s seen on television, which is barbaric actions by a brutal dictator through his invasion of a foreign country.”

“There is a legal process that continues to … be underway at the State Department. That’s a process that they would have any updates on,” the press secretary said.

Later in the briefing, a reporter circled back to the issue, noting that Biden had declined to call Putin a war criminal during the first three weeks of the conflict.

“As you note, there is an ongoing … formal process before you can use this term. So something must have changed for the president to feel like he can take this additional step today. What? What else is he seeing?” she asked.

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Psaki again referenced media coverage of the invasion.

“The president was answering a direct question that was asked and responding to what he has seen on television,” she said.

“We have all seen barbaric acts, horrific acts by a foreign dictator in a country that is threatening and taking the lives of civilians, impacting hospitals, women who are pregnant, journalists, others,” Psaki continued. “I think he was answering a direct question.”

Biden likely isn’t watching Fox News, so our foreign policy is being informed by what commentators on MSNBC and CNN are saying? God help us.

Doesn’t the commander in chief have a multibillion-dollar intelligence apparatus to provide him with the most accurate information available?

Conservative commentator Ed Morrissey offered an interesting theory as to why Psaki walked back Biden’s remarks about Putin, and it centers on Iran.

Moscow responded forcefully Wednesday to Biden’s war criminal characterization, calling it “unacceptable and unforgivable” rhetoric, the BBC reported.

Morrissey wrote that Psaki’s official “walk-back at the White House of it being just Biden’s personal view looks like a retreat in the face of Russian complaints. And that might be precisely what it is, because Biden’s still relying on Russia to accommodate Biden’s desperate ambition to re-enter the Iran [nuclear] deal.”

Russia is playing a central role in the talks currently underway in Vienna.

Do you approve of Biden's handling of the Ukraine war?

“Rather than recognize the insanity of that foreign policy, Biden and his White House have decided that it makes more sense to accommodate Putin and walk back the obvious,” Morrissey wrote.

We already went through all of this during the Obama administration, with the U.S. bending over backward to accommodate Russia and Iran. Both interpreted America’s conduct as weakness and pressed forward with their mal-behavior, including Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 and Iran’s ongoing support of terrorism.

You would think that Biden and his team — primarily made up of Obama alums like Psaki — would have learned their lesson, but apparently they have not.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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