Optics has never been President Joe Biden’s strong suit, but one would think that on the brink of war, he might read the room a little better than usual.
Unfortunately, according to the Daily Caller, that wasn’t the case as Biden prepared to chopper away on Marine One to Camp David on Friday. As reporters lined the area where he walks out to his helicopter, he refused to take even a single question, but he did carve out a few minutes to snap a few selfies with some White House officials.
The president took increased flak from his critics on Friday for abandoning the White House shortly after it was announced by his own officials that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is all but guaranteed within the next several days.
Though Camp David is presumably outfitted with all of the tools a president needs to conduct global business, traditionally, presidents usually stick around the White House as a show of strength and leadership during uncertain times.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan sparked a fresh breaking news cycle on Friday when he urged all Americans in Ukraine to evacuate within the next 24-48 hours, in what many say was a rare sense of urgency as far as evacuation suggestions are concerned.
Just hours before Sullivan’s message, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Russia is now prepared to invade Ukraine “at any time,” which also sent cable news outlets into overdrive as they attempted to learn more about what exactly U.S. intelligence knows about the developing situation.
Of course, the nation — and the world — are ultimately curious about the United States’ reaction to such an event. The Biden administration has vowed not to directly involve U.S. troops in such a conflict, but with another 3,000 U.S. troops headed to Eastern Europe, the possibility of an encounter with Russia, whether it’s U.S. troops or U.S. citizens stuck in Ukraine, is not out of the realm of possibility.
In a recent interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Biden said he believes President Vladimir Putin knows better than to involve any American citizens or troops in his war.
“I’m hoping, that if in fact he’s foolish enough to go in, he’s smart enough not to in fact do anything that would negatively impact on American citizens,” the president said.
Biden’s GOP critics have recently amped up criticism of his abilities to respond in an effective manner should Putin move forward with the invasion. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was especially concerned, blaming the situation on the U.S. president.
“The Russian troops on the Ukrainian border are Joe Biden’s fault. And they are Senate Democrats’ fault for being unwilling to stand up to a president of their own party,” Cruz said Monday on the Senate floor.
In a statement to the Daily Caller, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) slammed the president for giving “Putin the upper hand at almost every turn.”