News and Analysis

‘They’ll Just Go Unpunished?’: Fox Reporter Spars With Psaki Over Biden’s ‘Red Line’ In Ukraine
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 14, 2022 in Washington, DC. Psaki fielded questions about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Sen. Joe Manchin's opposition to Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination to the Federal Reserve Board, and other topics. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fox News White House Correspondent Jacqui Heinrich sparred with Press Secretary Jen Psaki over whether or not President Joe Biden actually had a “red line” with regard to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Heinrich began with the news that her colleague, Fox News war correspondent Benjamin Hall, had been injured in Ukraine when the vehicle he was in was fired upon by Russian occupation forces. (It was later announced that longtime Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in that same incident.)

Noting that Biden had said as recently as February that the United States would “respond forcefully if Americans were targeted in Ukraine,” Heinrich asked whether or not the White House planned to respond to the news that Hall had been injured and former New York Times contributor Brent Renaud had been killed over the weekend as well.

“Our thoughts, the president’s thoughts, our administration’s thoughts are with him, his family, and all of you at Fox News,” Psaki replied, although she said she had nothing more to add with regard to any additional steps the administration might be planning to take in response.

Heinrich pushed back on Psaki’s continued claims that President Biden had led the world on making sure that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “punished” for the war he continued to wage against Ukraine, arguing that Biden had not drawn a clear “red line” that would demand a response from the administration.

“But we’ve seen the president been so far unwilling to draw a red line on the kinds of atrocities that we’re going to watch from the sidelines,” Heinrich continued, pointing to former President Barack Obama’s chemical weapons “red line” in Syria. “Any thought process of what we are willing to watch happen?”

Psaki pushed back, saying again that Biden had led the world in putting pressure on Putin. “I think it’s important to reiterate as much as we can that what we are seeing is horrific, what we’re seeing is barbaric and the steps that the president has taken and led the world in taking has essentially led the Russian financial system to be on the brink of collapse,” she said.

“Is there a concern that if we don’t draw the line at something like chemical weapons, it’ll make it easier for malign actors to use them in the future because they’ll just go unpunished?” Heinrich continued to press, but Psaki argued that the world would certainly respond if it came to that.

“Well, Jacqui, I think that you heard the president say on Friday that there would be severe consequences and the world would respond if they were to use chemical weapons,” Psaki said. “And what we have been doing over the course of the last several weeks, if not months, is providing as much information to the global community, to the media, and to others about what to expect.”

“And when you have President Putin suggesting — and Russian — Russian officials suggesting that the United States and Ukrainians are the ones who are working on a chemical weapons program, it’s clear that this is a pattern that we’ve seen in the past of them trying to set up a predicate for their own actions,” she added.

“What does that end up looking like if the world responds?” Heinrich protested. “Because we’ve heard the president talk a lot about what the U.S. is not going to do … why wouldn’t we think that he would just create a pretext that is fabricated for something like that?”

“We do,” Psaki replied.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘They’ll Just Go Unpunished?’: Fox Reporter Spars With Psaki Over Biden’s ‘Red Line’ In Ukraine