Biden Thinks Putin Is Bluffing, but Is Still Alarmed at Nuclear Bluster

President Joe Biden does not believe Russia will use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, he said in an interview on Tuesday, but the possibility of “a terrible outcome” in the war prompted the Pentagon to given the American response to them. use.

“I don’t think he would, but I think it’s irresponsible for him to talk about that, the idea that a world leader of one of the biggest nuclear powers in the world says that he can use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Once you use nuclear weapons, mistakes can be made, miscalculations, who knows what will happen?”

During the interview, conducted in the White House Map Room shortly after Biden met with the Group of Seven Leaders to discuss ongoing crisis in UkraineThe president accused Putin of committing war crimes in the eight months since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine, and said he did not “see any reason” to meet with him.

“I am talking to Putin. In fact, he can’t keep talking about the use of tactical nuclear weapons, as if it were the right thing to do,” Biden said. “No one can be sure what will happen. And it may end in Armageddon.”

Mr. Biden said Putin has backed himself into a corner, but there is a way out without resorting to nuclear weapons, as Putin did. openly threatened to do.

“He could go straight away and maybe keep his position in Russia,” Biden suggested.

In the interview, which focused mainly on foreign policy issues, Biden spoke little in detail about how to address aggressive moves by both opponents and allies. Not only was Biden evasive when asked about the US response to a nuclear attack in Ukraine – he also declined to say what consequences the Saudi government would face if it led to production cuts. large amount of oil in partnership with the Kremlin.

“I’m not going to go into what I’m going to consider and what I’m thinking,” Biden said of Saudi Arabia after Tapper asked if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had “played” him on his trip. recent trip to the kingdom in Biden is obviously chummy with autocrat. “But there will be consequences.”

Biden is more confident discussing domestic opponents, telling Tapper he’s sure the Democrats have a solid track record ahead of the midterms.

“What platform does the Republican Party run on? What are they running on? What are they for? Biden asked and pointed to a plan by several Republican senators to put Social Security up for a vote every half a decade. “I mean, I don’t know what they’re for.”

As for his own potential next election – and his potential opponent – Biden was outspoken.

“I believe I can beat Donald Trump again,” Biden told Tapper, adding that his decision on whether to run for re-election would be made after the midterms.

“I will not make this decision. I’m going to do this about the election happening this year,” Biden said. “Once that’s done in November, then I’ll be in the decision-making process.”


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