The hits—of the bad sort—just keep on coming for Joe Biden.
Yesterday, we noted CNN’s New Day highlighting Biden’s “abysmal, spectacular, failures” on the domestic front.
Today, New Day‘s focus turned to the international scene. And—zing!—a prominent journalist opined that Biden’s catastrophic mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal has emboldened Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine.
David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent of the New York Times, doubles as a CNN analyst. Substitute host Kasie Hunt teed up Sanger to offer his dim view of Biden, saying:
“One thing we do know about Vladimir Putin: he is someone who very much thinks about the person on the other side of the table, who is his personal adversary. What is your sense of how US officials are evaluating the way Putin is thinking about President Biden?”
Sanger began by saying that when Biden was Obama’s veep, the US reaction to Russia’s invasion of Crimea was “too little, too late.” Hunt had offered a similar criticism, calling Obama’s reaction to the Russian annexation of Crimea, “muted actions, frankly.”
Sanger then landed the big blow:
“The bigger issue of how it is that Putin sees Biden, that’s really fascinating. And, you know, you have to think that he looks at the Afghan withdrawal, he looks at the political division in the United States, he looks at how we have turned more inward, and he thinks, you know, this is probably as good a moment as he is going to have.”
Responded Hunt, implicitly approving of Sanger’s take:
“Remarkable statement, David Sanger, thank you very much, as always, for your great reporting.”
As this morning’s exchange illustrates, Biden’s weakness and incompetence potentially endanger the security of the United States and our allies around the world. It’s not just Russia that is watching. Among others, China, Iran, North Korea, the Taliban, ISIS, and al Qaeda are surely lurking, and considering how they might exploit the enfeebled Biden.
Note: Sanger also implicitly criticized Biden’s intention not to apply sanctions to Russia until after an invasion of Ukraine, saying, “that raises some interesting questions of timing.”
We’ll credit CNN—in a switch from its normal unflagging support for Biden—for now starting to tell some uncomfortable truths about his incompetence, and the dangerous potential repercussions thereof.
On New Day, David Sanger of the New York Times and CNN saying that Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal has emboldened Putin to invade Ukraine was sponsored in part by Subaru, Consumer Cellular, Farmers Insurance, ADT, and Sandals.
Here’s the transcript.
7:04 am ET
KASIE HUNT: I’m wondering, one thing we do know about Vladimir Putin and, I’m sure that the US officials you’ve talked to spent so much time thinking about this, but, he is someone who very much thinks about the person on the other side of the table, who is his personal adversary. And right now, that potentially is President Joe Biden, who, of course, was Vice-president when the former president, Barack Obama, decided to take muted actions, frankly, when Russia annexed Crimea back in 2014.
What is your sense of how US officials are evaluating the way Putin is thinking about President Biden, and what is the Biden administration, how far are they willing to go here? What lessons did Biden learn from that experience when he was Vice-president?
DAVID SANGER: You know, it’s a fascinating issue. So I think the first thing that Biden and the team around him, who largely were in place during the Crimea crisis in 2014, I think the first thing they learned was that they did too little, too late, right? That the sanctions — they were taken by surprise by the invasion. And then the sanctions that they put into place went after smaller banks. The idea was to ratchet it up slowly.
You heard Jake Sullivan, the president’s National Security Adviser, say, this time, they’re going to start big and move down. Although, they’re not going to start until Putin actually invades. That raises some interesting questions of timing.
The bigger issue of how it is that Putin sees Biden? That’s really fascinating. And, you know, you have to think that he looks at the Afghan withdrawal, he looks at the political division in the United States, he looks at how we have turned more inward, and he thinks, you know, this is probably as good a moment as he’s going to have, especially if he thinks the Ukrainians are going to grow more powerful militarily in coming years.
HUNT: That’s a remarkable statement. David Sanger, thank you very much, as always, for your great reporting. We really appreciate it.
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