Biden told Ukraine’s president a Russian invasion was virtually certain (but the White House denies it) – HotAir

It’s not clear if this is a misunderstanding, an attempt to make President Biden look bad or just a CNN screw up. This afternoon a CNN national security correspondent claimed on Twitter that a fellow CNN correspondent had been given an account of President Biden’s recent conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to an unnamed source, Biden had said a Russian invasion was virtually certain and that Kyiv could be ‘sacked.”

The actual report with those details was made on Jake Tapper’s show by reporter Matthew Chance:


But the official White House account of the call was very different and the White House specifically pushed back on the CNN report.

Emily Horne is the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council and as you can see above, she’s directly refuting the CNN report. She does admit that Biden said an invasion in February was possible but seems to be denying the part about it being virtually certain. More pushback from the White House came via CNN’s own Jim Sciutto.

In addition to the statement from Emily Horne, which basically repeated what she said on Twitter, Sciutto also got a specific denial about the word “sacked” being part of the conversation.

There’s no specific denial of the other quote attributed to Biden, i.e. “prepare for impact.” Unlike “sacked” that actually sounds like something Biden might say. And it’s really not that hard to believe Biden could have said something awkward since we all saw him say in a press conference last week that a “minor incursion” by Russia might not be a huge deal. But a spokesman for Zelensky is also denying the report by CNN:

With both sides denying the claims, I guess we’ll have to put this down to a CNN error for now.

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