Jen Psaki Takes Exception When Reporter Suggests U.S. Plan for Ukraine Is To ‘Just Watch This Get Worse’

Jen Psaki Takes Exception When Reporter Suggests U.S. Plan for Ukraine Is To ‘Just Watch This Get Worse’

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took exception when a reporter suggested that since President Joe Biden won’t send U.S. troops to Ukraine, the plan is to “just watch this get worse.”

President Biden and his administration have been crystal clear that no U.S. troops will be sent to fight Russians in Ukraine, and have ruled out enforcement of a no-fly zone as well.

At Friday’s White House press briefing, NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell asked Psaki if that pledge means the U.S and allies have done all they can, and must now “just watch this get worse?”

Psaki took exception to the suggestion:

MS. O’DONNELL: Can you give us any sense of a timeline or a triggering event that would result in this policy change regarding Russian oil and any decisions that may be forthcoming? Is that imminent? Or is there something that — you know, is there an event — an outside event that you’re waiting for?

MS. PSAKI: I wouldn’t say, Kelly, it’s an outside event. I think our continuing concern continues to be — you know, everybody wants to hold President Putin and the Russian leadership accountable. Everybody supports the efforts that the Pres- — President Biden has been leading around the world to take — put in place crippling financial sanctions, and they have had an enormous impact.

But what we are also mindful of is not taking steps that have — would have the impact of raising energy prices, raising oil prices, raising gas prices for the American public. And we also are mindful of doing things in a way that is unified with our partners around the world.

MS. O’DONNELL: Can you speak to how the President has steeled himself, hardened himself, if you will?

He’s made a commitment not to put American troops in a military position in Ukraine. You’ve outlined all the steps the U.S. and allies are taking. But he’s also watching what is happening, as are many Americans who are concerned about the atrocities that are taking place, the loss of life, the civilians that are being affected. Does the U.S. just watch this get worse? Is that what we should all be prepared for?

MS. PSAKI: I would just argue we’re hardly “watching.” We have been — we have provided a billion dollars in military and security assistance, including a range of defensive weapons that we have expedited delivery to the Ukrainian leadership and Ukrainian military.

We have been the largest provider of economic and humanitarian assistance. We have rallied the world to stand up against President Putin. We are not “watching”; the President is leading the world in responding to this.

However, he is not going to put U.S. military men and women serving on the front lines of battle in Ukraine to fight Russia. That has never chan- — that has never been his plan, never been his policy, and he has no intention of doing that.

Watch above via C-Span.

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