Reporters call out Biden for claiming no one expected sanctions to prevent Russian aggression

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Reporters were quick to call out the contradiction between President Biden’s claim that no one expected sanctions against Russia to work and his administration’s previous position against Russia.

Although he announced new sanctions on top of previous ones against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, Biden later admitted that “no one” expected the sanctions to prevent the invasion.”

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Presidents Biden and Putin

Presidents Biden and Putin
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images |   Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

“No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening,” Biden said. “This could take time and we have to show resolve, so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them, this is what this is all about.”

This went against Vice President Kamala Harris’ comments on Sunday that claimed “The purpose of the sanctions has always been and continues to be deterrence.” On Feb. 11, national security advisor Jake Sullivan similarly claimed that “sanctions are intended to deter.”

Other reporters brought up this change when reporting on Biden’s comments.

This map of Ukraine shows its capital Kyiv and its boundary with Russia.

This map of Ukraine shows its capital Kyiv and its boundary with Russia.
(Fox News)

New York Times correspondent Michael D. Shear tweeted, “On Feb. 11, Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said that ‘the President believes that sanctions are intended to deter.’ Today, @potus told us: ‘No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening.’ Those are basically the opposite of each other.”

Fellow NYT reporter Maggie Haberman agreed by commenting, “Shades of what was said after Afghanistan and before it.”

CBS reporter Margaret Brennan said on the air, “I thought that was so interesting when President Biden said, ‘No one expected sanctions to prevent anything.’ Actually, that’s exactly what his foreign policy team said again and again, and it’s what his secretary of state said to me on Sunday.”

Other reporters followed suit by contrasting the president’s comments with his administration’s previous assurances.

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Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a fervent Biden supporter, defended his language.

“The WH press corps is either playing dumb or doesn’t understand. Sanctions are not meant to deter (hence they did not fail); Putin was ALWAYS going to do this. They are to force Putin to curtail once the pain rises sufficiently or he risks destabilization at home,” Rubin tweeted.

Vladimir President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. 

Vladimir President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. 
(Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Biden also announced 7,000 more service members to Germany, but maintained that the U.S. military will not fight in Ukraine.

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