'Ukraine Can & Will Stop Putin': Biden Successfully Navigates Teleprompter At NATO Summit

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 09, 2024 - 10:35 PM

Update(1835ET): We've just been given a glimpse of what another Biden administration would look like: endless war and escalation in Europe until we get nuclear-armed conflict with Russia (though a Trump administration after November is looking likelier by the day).

President Biden's address to the NATO summit in D.C. on the 75th anniversary of the alliance's founding was full of bravado and chest-thumping, complete with declarations of Ukraine will win against Russia.

"Putin wants nothing less, nothing less, than Ukraine's total subjugation ... and to wipe Ukraine off the map," Biden said. He then vowed that "Ukraine can and will stop Putin."

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Toward that end, he announced that Ukraine will be given dozens more US anti-air defense systems, and that Kiev will be priority number one in terms of advanced arms transfers to countries abroad.

Biden came out speaking fast, at times mumbling and stumbling over hastily-formed words while hugging the teleprompter, but in the end was actually coherent this time. 

Reuters notes that "The White House is hoping he can turn the page on speculation with his speech, in which he spoke with a strong and confident voice and avoided any verbal flubs or signs of confusion that marked his debate performance."

And the Associated Press wrote:

Biden, using a teleprompter, told world leaders that “NATO is more powerful than ever” on its 75th anniversary, highlighting the expansion of the alliance under his watch.

“This moment in history calls for our collective strength,” he said, stressing NATO’s resolve to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s invasion. In his 13-minute remarks, Biden did not nod to the domestic political drama swirling around him.

But just a couple of hours before Biden's big speech, this devastating take down occurred in the White House press briefing room, leading to obvious questions of: who is in charge here?

* * *

The annual NATO summit 2024 began Tuesday in Washington D.C., and House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson used the opportunity to urge all alliance members to meeting spending goals, which as at least 2% of GDP for defense.

"I just want to say this, and I'll deliver the message to them emphatically: Republicans, of course, celebrate the peace and prosperity that NATO has secured and will continue to stand by our partners as we prevent needless wars," he said before an audience at the Hudson Institute think tank.

"But we also believe that NATO needs to be doing more," he stressed. As NATO heads of state are in town, Congressional members will hold various meetings with the foreign delegations. "Every NATO member needs to be spending at least 2% of their GDP on defense. That's the agreement, that's the deal," Johnson continued.

Via AP

Currently, fewer than half of NATO members are meeting this goal, according to various international reports. It was a big talking point in the prior Trump administration, and if Trump gets in office again he'll likely dial up the pressure on allies just like in the past.

Back in February, Trump sparked fury and controversy by suggesting the US would not defend NATO allies who failed to spend enough on defense.

On the campaign trail he had recounted a past conversation with the "president of a big country"...

"Well sir, if we don't pay, and we're attacked by Russia - will you protect us?" Trump quoted the unnamed leader as saying.

"I said: 'You didn't pay? You're delinquent?' He said: 'Yes, let's say that happened.' No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay," Trump said.

As for Johnson's fresh speech just as NATO leaders arrive in D.C., he called out both Russia and China, but especially Beijing which it called "our single greatest threat... engaging in malign influence operations around the world."

But he also stated of Russia, "People understand that (Russian President Vladimir Putin) would not stop if he took Kyiv. He's a ruthless dictator in my view."

Zelensky has also been invited to be in attendance this week, but Ukraine isn't expected to join the alliance anytime soon. Zelensky says he will focus on attracting more anti-air systems amid the Russian aerial onslaught:

So far there's been no evidence showing Moscow desires an expanded war. Many Western pundits predicted Russia would march on Moldova next, but that hasn't materialized.