Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday echoed the sentiment from White House press secretary Jen Psaki that if Russia were to invade Ukraine, it “will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies.”
Harris told NBC’s “Today” that if Russian President Vladimir Putin “takes aggressive action, we are prepared to levy serious and severe costs, period.”
Host Savannah Guthrie asked, “Let’s just start right there with Ukraine. The president was pretty clear, Russia will be held accountable if it invades, and it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion, and then we end up fighting about what to do and what not to do. Did the president essentially give the green light to Vladimir Putin to take a piece of Ukraine, to take a bite out of Ukraine?”
“So, Savannah, first of all, I will tell you that I every morning start my morning and my day reading the presidential daily brief, the PDB, which contains classified information about threats to our national security and hot spots around the world,” Harris outlined. “I am often in the Situation Room with the leaders of our military and our intelligence community and, of course, the President of the United States. And on the subject of Ukraine, I will tell you that the president has been very clear, and we as the United States are very clear: If Putin takes aggressive action, we are prepared to levy serious and severe costs, period. And I will tell you that part of the posture that we have taken is grounded in the respect and the value we place in sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Guthrie interrupted Harris, telling her Biden has not been “clear” given the fact that Psaki had to clean up Biden’s statement quickly after his press conference.
A combative Harris doubled down and advised that the Biden administration prefers to fix the tensions “diplomatically.” She added they have “been clear and continue to be clear that if Russia takes aggressive action, it will be met with severe costs.”
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