News and Analysis

Psaki Promises U.S. Will Respond To A Russian ‘Military Incursion’ In Ukraine — With ‘Severe Economic Consequences’
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 14: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on January 14, 2022 in Washington, DC. Psaki took questions about Russia's threat to Ukraine, the ongoing response by the Biden Administration to the coronavirus pandemic and the struggle for Democrats to get voting rights legislation through the Congress. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki suggested Thursday that “severe economic consequences” would be an appropriate and effective response to a Russian military invasion in Ukraine.

Psaki made an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” and spoke with anchors Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer about a wide range of topics — most of them centered on remarks President Joe Biden made during his Wednesday afternoon press conference — and she fielded several questions about the increasingly volatile situation between Russia and Ukraine.

The conversation began with Biden’s comments about Russia – his suggestion that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably would make a move on Ukraine, and that the global response would be dependent on what kind of move Putin chose to make.

“It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion,” Biden said, although he was not clear on what would constitute a “minor incursion” and whether that would be a cyber attack or a physical invasion.

The response was immediate — critics wondered why Biden would differentiate between an “incursion” and an “invasion” and suggested that Putin would view his statement promising a “lesser response” for the former as a virtual green light.

While Psaki was doing the live interview with Hemmer and Perino, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted his response to the situation, saying, “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power.”

Hemmer read the tweet aloud, giving Psaki the chance to respond in real time.

“Well, I would be very – thank you for the opportunity. I want to be very clear. The president has conveyed directly to President Putin if there is a movement of any military troops across the border, that is an invasion,” Psaki replied, going on to say that in the event of an actual invasion the United States would respond with “severe economic consequences.”

“If they go in, that is an invasion, and there will be severe economic consequences. I know President Zelensky knows that, and we’ve conveyed that,” Psaki continued. “There are a range of tactics the Russians use and have been warning about some of those steps including the spreading of misinformation out there, which has been widespread, was widespread in 2014, the use of cyber tools and we are also going to be ready to respond to that as well, and we will be working in lock step with Ukraine.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Psaki Promises U.S. Will Respond To A Russian ‘Military Incursion’ In Ukraine — With ‘Severe Economic Consequences’