White House Has to Clean Up for Biden Once More After President Lets Slip That US Is Training Ukrainian Troops
The White House yet again had to sort out some of the fallout from President Biden’s disastrous trip to Poland.
By C. Douglas Golden March 30, 2022 at 7:48am
If loose lips sink ships, what does it say about America that the captain of our ship is President Joe Biden — a man whose loose talk on the issue of Russia and Ukraine has gotten him in trouble on more than one occasion in the past week?
This time, it was Biden’s Monday remarks which seemed to indicate the United States was training Ukrainian troops in Poland. This was a surprise inasmuch as no one was supposed to know we were training Ukrainian troops in Poland. In fact, the White House national security advisor went as far as to deny it last week.
Thus, another executive branch cleaner came out with the mop to wipe the floor after Uncle Joe. On Tuesday, the White House communications director made it clear that no “compromised information” had been released by the president.
This all goes back to one of several gaffes Biden made during his visit to Poland, in which he seemed to indicate, during a speech to American forces there, that they’d be heading into Ukraine.
“You’re going to see when you’re there [in Ukraine], and some of you have been there, you’re gonna see — you’re gonna see women, young people standing in the middle — in front of a damned tank just saying, ‘I’m not leaving, I’m holding my ground,’” Biden said.
The White House quickly cleaned up that mess, noting in a statement that “the president has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine, and there is no change in that position,” according to the New York Post.
On Monday, President Biden was asked about this and two other statements he had made during his visit to Poland by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, including one in which the president appeared to call for regime change in Russia. That one took more than a few mops to wipe up — but, just as they were being squeezed out and put back in the cleaning closet, Biden left another mess on the floor.
Does Joe Biden have a cognitive issue?
“I was talking to the troops. We were talking about helping train the troops in — that are — the Ukrainian troops that are in Poland,” Biden said. “That’s what the context [was]. I sat there with those guys for a couple hours. That’s what we talked about.”
“So when you said, ‘You’re going to see when you’re there,’ you were not intending to send U.S. troops?” Doocy responded.
“I was referring to with — being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland,” the president replied.
That’s a bit of a problem. See, White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan told the media that “we do not have U.S. troops currently training Ukrainians.”
Tuesday’s scheduled janitor was White House communications director Kate Bedingfield, who insisted nothing major had been divulged — even as she didn’t say whether or not there was training going on.
“The troops that he met with in Poland routinely interact with Ukrainians. That is something that is known,” Bedingfield said when asked about the remark.
“That is in no way revealing compromised information … There’s nothing further that I have to say on that beyond what the president said yesterday.”
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz wasn’t so sure.
“It may be that he’s explaining secrets on national television,” Cruz said on Fox News Monday. “Every time he explains one thing, it gets worse and worse and worse, and we’ve got nuclear weapons pointed at each other. It is incredibly dangerous, this kind of presidential weakness.”
And therein lies the issue. Biden has been asked to walk a delicate balance as the United States seeks to adequately aid Ukraine without getting so stuck in the conflict with Russia that it turns into a shooting war between the two great nuclear powers.
Since Friday, he’s said that a) we’re sending troops into Ukraine, b) we might use a chemical weapon against Russia, c) we were calling for regime change in Moscow and d) we weren’t sending troops into Ukraine but rather training their troops in Poland.
Each one of these has run counter to the White House’s own position on these issues.
One can assume these are slips, even if Bedingfield assures us America’s training of Ukrainian troops wasn’t “compromised information.”
These are slips with nuclear consequences potentially attached, however — and try as they might, the janitors at the White House don’t have mops absorbent enough to clean up fallout.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.