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As the war of words on television rages alongside the literal war that is raging in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, an exchange was caught between President Joe Biden and Fox News’ correspondent Peter Doocy.
Doocy, who is the Fox News correspondent to the White House, recently had a tempestuous back-and-forth with Biden about comments which have raised a political brouhaha, and caused a sort of tug of war between Biden’s staff, trying to walk back his comments, and Biden himself, who appears to have doubled down on them in some cases.
Opening with a question about credibility, Doocy started the exchange by asking if people are going to take an America seriously that keeps having to go back on its statements:
“Are you worried that other leaders, in the world, are going to start to doubt that America is back if some of these big things you say on the world stage, keep getting walked back?”
Biden immediately interjected with a question of his own: “what’s getting walked back?”
This led to Doocy mentioning Biden’s comments during his speech in Warsaw, where he stated that Putin cannot remain in power, and said that chemical weapons usage by Russia would prompt a response “in kind.”
“It made it sound like just in the last couple days, it sounded like you told US troops they were going to Ukraine. It sounded like you said it was possible the US would use a chemical weapon, and it sounded like you were calling for regime, change, in Russia, and we know-”
“None of the three occurred,” Biden interrupted.
“None of the three?” Doocy asked.
“None of the three. You interpret the language that way. I was talking to the troops. We were talking about helping train the troops in, that are, the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland. That’s what the context, I sat there with those guys for a couple hours. That’s what we talked about,” Biden responded.
Yet Doocy pressed the matter:
“So when you said ‘you’re going to see when you’re there,’ you were not intending-”
“I was referring with, talking with, uh, the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland,” Biden interjected.
“And when you said a chemical weapon used by Russia would trigger a ‘response in kind,'” Doocy pressed.
“It will trigger a significant response,” Biden stated.
“What does that mean?” Doocy asked.
“I’m not gonna tell you. Why would I tell you? You gotta be silly,” Biden retorted, chuckling.
“… The world… wants to know?” Doocy seemed to half-ask, half-state, seemingly caught a little off guard.
“The world wants to know a lot of things I’m not telling them what the response would be, they, Russia knows the response,” Biden reiterated, sticking to his line.
Fox and Biden have had a stormy relationship at best, complete with name calling. Nor are things much better between White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Doocy. Biden’s gaffes have repeatedly left his allies scrambling to cover for him, and at times there seems to be disconnects between the president and his staff on basic policy.
As the West dithers over its response, or lack thereof, the onslaught against Ukraine continues.
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