President Joe Biden delivered remarks Thursday on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and took a few questions afterward from an uncharacteristically tough White House press corps — which Biden did not appreciate.
One of those reporters, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, was verbally attacked with condescension in response to her questions and then summarily ignored as Biden moved on to another reporter, the Conservative Brief reported.
Ironically, all Collins had done to provoke the president’s ire was to remind Biden of prior statements he had made about the situation to square those previous claims with the actual reality on the ground in Ukraine.
“If sanctions cannot stop President Putin, what penalty can?” Collins first asked, to which Biden replied, “I didn’t say sanctions couldn’t stop him.”
“But you’ve been talking about the threat of these sanctions for several weeks now,” the reporter rightly noted, but Biden fired back, “Yes, but the threat of the sanctions and imposing the sanctions and seeing the effect of the sanctions are two different things.”
Asked how the sanctions might change Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “mindset,” given that he was already engaged in attacking Ukraine, Biden said the sanctions would eventually “so weaken his country” that Putin would be forced to make “very, very difficult choices” about how to proceed.
CNN’s @KaitlanCollins: “How will that change his mind set here given that he’s attacking —”
Biden: “Cause it will —”
Collins: “— Ukraine as we speak.”
Biden: “— so weaken his country that he’ll have to make a very, very difficult choice.” pic.twitter.com/RaOA1257N1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 24, 2022
Collins wasn’t quite finished, though, and continued to remind Biden of his past remarks about nations bluffing as well as the possibility of personally sanctioning Putin himself, but the president wanted none of that and made that abundantly clear as he simply ignored the reporter’s legitimate final question.
“You said, in recent weeks, that big nations cannot bluff when it comes to something like this,” Collins said. “You recently said that the idea of personally sanctioning President Putin was on the table. Is that a step that you’re prepared to take? And if not …”
“It’s not a bluff; it’s on the table,” Biden interrupted concerning sanctioning Putin directly. That prompted Collins to logically ask, “Why not sanction him today, sir? Why not sanction him today, sir?”
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins presses Biden on sanctioning Putin directly.
NBC’s Peter Alexander grills him on not removing Russia from the international banking system: “What more are you waiting for?” pic.twitter.com/zjyV7Pkg5W
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) February 24, 2022
President Biden just ignored that question and looked past the CNN correspondent as though she was no longer there, ultimately motioning to another reporter standing behind her to go ahead with his questions.