White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Monday that Democrat President Joe Biden has no plans to use the U.S. Military to evacuate U.S. citizens out of Ukraine if Russia invades the country.
“If Americans are still in Ukraine, and things start happening with Russia, are they pretty much on their own?” a reporter asked.
“Well, we are conveying very clearly now that now’s the time to leave and that there are a means to do that,” Psaki said. “Of course, there’s commercial airlines, you can depart over land. There’s obviously the embassy there to provide assistance. And this is very similar to what we did in Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and many other countries over the course of the last several decades. But there is not an intention or a plan for any military evacuation.”
REPORTER: “If Americans are still in Ukraine and things start happening with Russia, are they pretty much on their own?”
PSAKI: “There is not an intention or a plan for any military evacuation.” pic.twitter.com/oHX5XBCy98
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 24, 2022
The question from the reporter came after news broke late last night that the State Department had indicated that there would be no military evacuation of U.S. citizens.
“Given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time, the U.S. government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens.” Biden’s State Department said, according to Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin. “So U.S. citizens, currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly.”
Notable responses included:
- Ben Shapiro, The Daily Wire: “Probably he’ll get everyone out. I mean, it’s not like there are still Americans stuck in Afghanistan or something.”
- John Cooper, Heritage Foundation: “Russia has been massing for weeks, and now the Biden administration is telling Americans stuck in #Ukraine that there’s nothing they can do to get them out. This administration is criminally incompetent.”
- Monica Crowley, former Trump official: “Biden/Harris still cool with abandoning Americans in war zones.”
- Karol Markowicz, New York Post: “We’re just going to make leaving Americans in war zones an ongoing thing, huh. I remember, in my 20s, arguing with someone that one of the great benefits of being an American was that no matter what, and no matter where, my country was going to come get me. Whoops.”
- Nate Madden, GOP comms: “Holy crap. It’s August all over again.”
The news came as the Biden administration ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine on Sunday to immediately leave the country.
“The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv,” the department said. “Do not travel to Ukraine due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.