On Wednesday the White House walked back its prior consistent assertions that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was "imminent". Spokeswoman Jen Psaki and other admin had in the last week or more doubled down on the word (which included Blinken in media statements) even as Ukraine's President Zelensky openly disputed the alarmist assessment, essentially telling Biden directly to 'calm down' the hyped rhetoric.
Moscow too, blasted Washington's "hysteria" - with Putin on Tuesday saying the US is trying to goad Russia and Ukraine into war in order to justify far-reaching sanctions and isolating the Russian economy. Here's Psaki, straight-faced, awkwardly trying to explain her own sudden narrative shift after weeks of "the Russians are coming!"...
❗️Russian invasion of Ukraine no longer “imminent”, says the White House, which had promised a Russian invasion every day for near enough two months— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradGazdiev) February 2, 2022
For a government that missed the Taliban offensive, foretelling a Russian invasion wasn’t going to be easy pic.twitter.com/TjAerpVu7m
"I used it once. I think others have used that once, and we stopped using it because I think it sent a message that we weren't intending to send, which was that we knew that President Putin had made a decision," Psaki said at an afternoon press briefing.
“I would say the vast majority of times I've talked about it, I've said he could invade ‘at any time,’" she added, trying to obfuscate her own unambiguous prior messaging.
Her reference of "others have used that once" is a clear attempt to shift blame. And obviously the 'we didn't intend to send this message' half-hearted explanation and with no apology is absurd, given the clear meaning of the words, centered on "imminent".
CNN reviews of the fact that the administration was called out by its own allies:
The discrepancy caused some frustrations to break into the open. Last week, Psaki's description of an attack as "imminent" drew anger in Kyiv. Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky, disagreed, and said the descriptions could cause panic and economic turmoil.
"There is a feeling abroad that there is war here. That's not the case," Zelensky said during a news conference last Friday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reversed her previous comment that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is “imminent” after United Nations ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told NPR she wouldn’t use the word to describe the current situation. pic.twitter.com/0R0RtE6BFS— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 2, 2022
It wasn't just in Ukraine, but mainstream US media a week ago issued a flood of fearmongering headlines suggesting WW3 with Russia was on the horizon. Based on the fake news coming from the White House of an "imminent" Russian invasion, the American public began bracing for yet another major foreign conflict which the beltway establishment seemed itching to get involved in.
But now it's being exposed increasingly as a classic "wag the dog" scenario.
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Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson was the only major prime time network pundit to expose the "imminent" Russian invasion of Ukraine as fake news in real time...