Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy challenged Press Secretary Jen Psaki directly on the Biden administration’s apparent unwillingness to consider any response beyond sanctions to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Pointing to the fact that the threat of sanctions — issued in the name of deterrence — had done little to deter Putin from taking the first steps toward a full-scale invasion, Doocy asked what the White House believed more sanctions would do if Putin’s plan was to redraw the map in a way that carved up Ukraine and served it to Russia.

Doocy began by asking about President Joe Biden’s contention, following a briefing early in his presidency, that the Pentagon generals had assured him that climate change was going to be the greatest threat facing the United States in the coming years.

“As far as anybody watching who’s seen the coverage, it’s very — at times — distressing images of Russian military movements, the number one threat facing the country right now remains global warming?” Doocy asked.

Psaki pushed back, saying that the important thing to remember was that President Biden would not send American troops to Ukraine. Doocy then pivoted to ask why anyone believed sanctions would stop Putin from moving forward.

“Why do you guys think that sanctions are going to stop Putin if his goal, ultimately, is to redraw the map, so it looks like it did 70 or 80 yrs ago? What sanction is going to stop them from doing that?” Doocy asked.

Psaki noted that, based on Putin’s own words, Russia did not even recognize Ukraine as a legitimate country — and went on to add that while sanctions could prove to be a “powerful tool,” they were not “an end.”

Doocy then quoted Biden from the 2020 campaign trail, noting that he had promised that Putin’s days of intimidating his adversaries in Europe and in the United States would be over once he was elected.

“It’s two and a half years later, he is intimidating the United States and those in Eastern Europe. What happened?” Doocy asked.

Psaki said that she would look at the situation differently, arguing that Biden had rallied the rest of the world behind Ukraine.

“I would look at actually from the prism of — the United States and President Biden has rallied the world, rallied Europe, to stand up against the efforts and the actions of President Putin,” she said.

“You don’t think people are focused on or intimidated by $4 gas, $5 gas, however high you guys think it’s going to go. Something like that isn’t intimidating?” Doocy pressed, referencing the White House’s recent admission that increased energy costs were likely to impact the American people as tensions continued to run high between Russia and Ukraine.

“You asked me if we were intimidated by President Putin, and I think the evidence of that doesn’t exist,” Psaki insisted.

 

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