Jen Psaki Won’t Say Whether ‘Success’ In Ukraine Means The Russians Have To Leave
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks at a daily press conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the briefing Psaki took questions on U.S. President Joe Biden's possible future student loan forgiveness legislation and President Biden's request for further aid for Ukraine from Congress. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wouldn’t say whether “success” in Ukraine meant that the invading Russian occupation forces had to leave.

During Thursday’s press briefing, NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker asked whether President Joe Biden’s administration considered a Ukrainian victory to be a policy goal — and Psaki declined to give a firm answer.

“Against the backdrop of the president’s announcement today and request for this $33 billion aid package, can you say, is it the policy goal of the United States for Ukraine to defeat Russia?” Welker asked.

“Well, look, it depends how you — we’re not going to define that from here. That’s for the Ukrainians — well, that’s for the Ukrainians to define,” Psaki replied. “What we are going to do from here is to continue to provide them with a range of security and military assistance, as is evidenced by the package that the president proposed and put forward to Capitol Hill today, to strengthen their hand in the negotiating table, and ensure that they have the support and backing of the United States and the world.”

Welker pushed back, asking whether “success” would be defined by the invading troops leaving Ukraine.

“Just to be clear, and I understand that you’re saying, it’s for to the Ukrainians to define, but does the United States think that success has to include Russians leaving all of the new portions of Ukraine that they’ve currently invaded?”

“Again, we’re not going to define that from here, Kristen,” Psaki said again. “There are a range of negotiations that may happen and may take place, and we’re just not going to get ahead of that.”

President Biden took criticism for his comments earlier in the day after he appeared to have difficulty with the word “kleptocracy” — which he applied to Russian oligarchs.

“We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains of Putin’s kleptocra — uh, yeah,” Biden said. “Kleptocracy. Klept — the guys who are the kleptocracies … but these are bad guys.”

Townhall Managing Editor Spencer Brown suggested that whoever had been manning the teleprompter for President Biden might have thrown the word out there intentionally to sabotage him.

“Whichever White House speechwriter put the word ‘kleptocracy’ in Biden’s prompter this morning is either a moron or a resistance fighter inside the West Wing who knew exactly what they were doing,” Brown commented in a tweet.

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