ABC/NBC Tout Biden’s Big Talk on Sanctions While CBS Pumps the Breaks

As tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to intensify on Tuesday, the liberal evening news broadcast networks have continued to cover the Biden administration’s tough talk and threats towards Russia to help him look like he’s handling it competently. Meanwhile, they’re giving little airtime to congressional Republicans’ criticisms that he’s not doing enough and going it too slowly.

On ABC’s World News Tonight, senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell reported on the ground in Ukraine that “American anti-tank and bunker-busting missiles arriving in Kyiv as the Biden administration steps up military support for Ukraine in its standoff with Russia.” He clarified that these were “meant to send a signal of support to the people of Ukraine, but also a message of deterrence to the Kremlin.” 

World News Tonight then aired a soundbite of President Biden’s recent comments on when he will make a final decision on deploying ground forces: 

What will lead to that is what’s going to happen, what Putin does or doesn’t do. And I may be moving some of those troops in the nearer term, just because it takes time.

Pannell followed up on Biden’s remarks by reporting that more “than 100,000 Russian troops are now gathered on Ukraine’s borders with trainloads of troops and equipment moving into Belarus on the northern frontier.” Biden warned that if Russia fully invaded Ukraine “it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.” 

Later in the segment, Pannell reported that Biden warned “there’d be enormous consequences, including possible sanctions against Putin himself” if Russia follows through on its apparent plans to invade Ukraine. 

Over on NBC Nightly News, it was much the same thing with NBC parroting Biden’s threats toward Russia while giving no airtime to any critics of the administration’s handling of the crisis. 

NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel did however report this startling development:   

NATO allies big and small are also moving east. Spain deploying fighter jets to Bulgaria and warships to the Black Sea. Denmark sending jets to Lithuania. And France vowing to defend Romania. All of eastern Europe is a potential front.

Meanwhile, CBS Evening News did give the Biden administration’s Republican critics airtime by featuring comments from Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton who said “even when they’re taking the right steps now those right steps tend to be half-measures and they’re certainly much too late.” 

On the flip side of the GOP coin, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believes “the administration is moving in the right direction” when it comes to its handling of the situation in Ukraine. 

This latest example of the liberal networks carrying water for the Biden administration while ignoring GOP criticism was made possible by CarFax on ABC and T-Mobile on NBC. Their contact information is linked so you can let them know about the bias news they fund. 

To read the transcripts of each segment click “expand”:

ABC World News Tonight 

1/25/2022

6:38:05 PM

DAVID MUIR: We’re going to turn now to Russia and Ukraine and U.S. Military equipment now arriving there. The pictures coming in tonight. And this evening, President Biden saying those 8,500 U.S. Troops already put on heightened alert to be sent to the region to support NATO allies, they may be moving in the nearer term, were his words today. A new shipment of American anti-tank missiles arriving in Ukraine. The Russians releasing new video tonight of their troops in training exercises. And what President Biden is now saying tonight about personally sanctioning Vladimir Putin. ABC’s senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell on the ground in Ukraine tonight.

IAN PANNELL: Tonight, American anti-tank and bunker-busting missiles arriving in Kyiv as the Biden administration steps up military support for Ukraine in its standoff with Russia. This is the latest delivery of U.S.-supplied weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainian government. It’s meant to send a signal of support to the people of Ukraine, but also a message of deterrence to the Kremlin. 8,500 U.S. Troops are on high alert, standing by to deploy to Europe in case this crisis escalates further, and tonight, President Biden saying they could be on the move sooner rather than later.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, it depends. What will lead to that is what’s going to happen, what Putin does or doesn’t do. And I may be moving some of those troops in the nearer term, just because it takes time.

PANNELL: More than 100,000 Russian troops are now gathered on Ukraine’s borders with trainloads of troops and equipment moving into Belarus on the northern frontier. Biden now saying he’d even sanction Putin if he attacks.

BIDEN: If he were to move in with all those forces, it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.

PANNELL: The Kremlin has consistently denied it plans to evade, accusing the U.S. of Hysteria. But America is taking no chances. Today’s 79-ton military shipment includes more than 270 javelin anti-tank missiles and over 800 shoulder-fired bunker-busting rockets. We saw these anti-tank weapons being used in training by the Ukrainian military last month. The Kremlin says this is American and NATO interference on its doorstep. The Ukrainian government’s been playing down the sense of crisis here, but speaking exclusively to ABC News, the acting American ambassador in Ukraine, Kristina Kvien warning Russia could do anything at any moment.

KRISTINA KVIEN (Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine): It’s like a gun to the head of Ukraine, and we don’t think that Ukraine should have to live with a loaded gun to its head. 

MUIR: And Ian Pannell back with us from Ukraine’s capitol again tonight. Just incredible reporting from you and the team. And Ian, I know you said today that President Biden is now indicating that he would consider personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia invades?

PANNELL: Yeah, that’s right, David. If Putin invaded Ukraine, President Biden says, quote, there’d be enormous consequences, including possible sanctions against Putin himself. Worth remembering, though, that when U.S. Senators proposed the very same idea last week, the Kremlin said it would be a great mistake that would potentially cut off all relations between America and Russia. David?

CBS Evening News

1/25/2022

6:33:07 PM 

O’KEEFE: A Russian military show of force today on the country’s western border with Ukraine, and no signs that Vladimir Putin plans to back down. That’s why President Biden, shopping today at a small business in Washington, says he may soon deploy to eastern Europe some of the almost 9,000 U.S. Troops he’s put on heightened alert.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I may be moving some of those troops in the near term, just because it takes time, and, again, it’s not provocative.

O’KEEFE: Several thousand U.S. Troops already in Europe also could be repositioned, but the growing allied response force is still no match for Putin’s roughly 100,000 troops on the ground. At this point, almost completely encircling Ukraine. The White House says an invasion is imminent, and Mr. Biden summoned his top national security advisers for a meeting on the crisis, saying he would specifically target Putin with economic sanctions if the Russian leader invades.

BIDEN: If he were to move in with all those forces, it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.

O’KEEFE: The Russians reiterated today they have no plans to attack. But the administration fearing Putin could cut off fuel shipments that run through Ukraine in the coming weeks is now working with oil and gas suppliers around the globe to ensure there is adequate supply. Some Republicans say they fear Mr. Biden is still moving too slowly against Putin.

SENATOR TOM COTTON: Even when they’re taking the right steps now those right steps tend to be half-measures and they’re certainly much too late.

O’KEEFE: But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a frequent critic of the President has a different view. 

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: It appears to me the administration is moving in the right direction.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Ed joins us now from the White House. So what are you hearing about U.S. Troop deployments? 

O’KEEFE: Well, CBS News has learned tonight the Pentagon is preparing to announce elements of the Army’s 82nd Airborn Division out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, could be among the elements deployed to the region. 

NBC Nightly News 

1/25/2022

7:06:46 PM

LESTER HOLT: With weapons and words, the United States and NATO allies are sending Russia a powerful new message tonight to stay out of Ukraine. President Biden warning of enormous consequences if Russia invades. Richard Engel is in Ukraine tonight.

RICHARD ENGEL: With diplomacy failing, NATO and Russia are both mobilizing for a potential war. Tonight more American weapons, part of a $200 million, 90-ton package, arrived in Ukraine to help defend against a possible Russian invasion. President Biden saying he’s close to deciding whether to mobilize additional U.S. Troops already on high alert to eastern Europe although not inside Ukraine.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: What would lead to that is what’s going to happen, what Putin does or doesn’t do. And I may be moving some of those troops in the near term just because it takes time.

ENGEL: And saying he might sanction President Putin himself if he invades.

BIDEN: If he were to move in with all those forces, it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.

ENGEL: NATO allies big and small are also moving east. Spain deploying fighter jets to Bulgaria and warships to the Black Sea. Denmark sending jets to Lithuania. And France vowing to defend Romania. All of eastern Europe is a potential front. While Russia denies it will invade, with new military drills today, it keeps the world guessing. Ukraine’s President is telling people to remain calm and that he’s seeking a diplomatic solution. But here in the east, some volunteers are already signing up in case they need to fight. Lester?

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