President Joe Biden appeared to be unaware that his surrogates had spent a fair amount of time cleaning up or walking back things he said while in Europe to bolster allies and discuss the next moves with regard to Ukraine.
Biden, who appeared to tell troops that they were headed to Ukraine, suggested that the United States might retaliate with a chemical weapon if Russia used one first, and alluded to the possibility of regime change in Russia, told Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy that those things didn’t happen.
Each time, the White House had to issue clarifications after the president’s comments — but on Monday the Commander-in-Chief also appeared to be completely unaware that his team had amended any of those statements, asking Doocy, “What’s getting walked back?”
Doocy asked Biden if he was “worried that other leaders in the world are going to start to doubt that America is ‘back’ if some of these big things that you say on the world stage keep getting walked back?”
“What’s getting walked back?” Biden responded.
“Just in the last couple days … it sounded like you told troops they were going to Ukraine, it sounded like you said it was possible the U.S. would use a chemical weapon, and it sounded like you were calling for regime change in Russia, and we know …” Doocy said before Biden interrupted.
The president interjected, denying that had happened at all, “None of the three occurred.”
“None of the three occurred?” Doocy asked.
“None of the three … You interpret the language that way,” Biden continued. “I was talking to the troops. We were talking about helping train the troops, the Ukrainian troops, that are in Poland. That’s what the context … I sat there with those guys for a couple of hours. That’s what we talked about.”
“So when you said, ‘You’re going to see when you’re there,’ you were not intending to …” Doocy asked before Biden interrupted again.
“I was referring … with meeting with and talking with the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland,” Biden said.
“And when you said, ‘A chemical weapon use by Russia would trigger a response in-kind’?” Doocy asked.
“It will trigger a significant response,” Biden said, before declining to answer the Fox News reporter’s inquiries as to what he meant.
“I’m not going to tell you. Why would I tell you? You got to be silly,” Biden said.
Doocy responded, “The world wants to know.”
“The world wants to know a lot of things. I’m not telling them what the response would be, then Russia knows the response,” Biden declared.
The exchange can be seen here:
Doocy: "The big things you say on the world stage keep getting walked back."
Biden: "What's getting walked backed?"
Biden: You told troops they are going to Ukraine, the U.S. would use a chemical weapon, and called for regime change in Russia.
Biden: "None of the 3 occurred." pic.twitter.com/cwZPzANIoC
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 28, 2022
It is unclear why Biden was not aware that those three comments had been walked back by the White House.
Over the weekend, The Daily Wire reported that in each case a White House official was forced to clarify the president’s remarks to avoid any confusion. Other administration officials went on the record to walk back, as Doocy said, the president’s statements.