Chuck Todd asks Sec. Blinken why Putin didn’t escalate when Trump was in charge

Secretary of State Antony Blinken deflected Sunday when confronted over why Vladimir Putin would choose to invade Ukraine under President Biden instead of President Trump; “ask him.”

Blinken appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and was confronted by host Chuck Todd on a reality that breaks the narrative that somehow Trump was allied with Putin.

In referring to the Trump administration, Todd asked Blinken, “Why do you think [Putin] didn’t act then?”

“I hope you get a chance to ask him,” Blinken responded with a clipped laugh before stuttering to a fuller response.

This deflection is not an isolated incident as the nation’s top diplomat has been making appearances to say little of substance while suggesting only Putin can explain what is going on in Eastern Europe. Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Blinken again told pundits to “ask him.”

(Video: MSNBC)

When asked what benefit Putin has to gain from a Ukrainian invasion, Blinken again laughed before suggesting that Putin’s spoken objectives contradict his actions. “It’s an excellent question,” Blinken deflected, “one best asked of him because what he’s doing and what he’s threatening actually counters Russia’s stated interest.”

These muddled responses have signaled to some that Biden’s foreign policy is a return to President Barack Obama’s posturing of “hashtag diplomacy.” As he has made the rounds raising questions as to what the State Department actually does or doesn’t know, he released a tweet as though that would deter Putin.

This echoed a similar State Department message featuring future White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that was sent out in 2014 after Russia had annexed Crimea.

Both instances were received as demonstrations of weak foreign policy and indicate a true response to Todd’s original question to Blinken. A former Trump official even pointed to this as the, “Leading indicator of negotiations breaking down…sadly.”

Adam Korzeniewski may be closer to the mark than expected after Blinken made another Sunday show appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Host Margaret Brennan indicated that she had spoken with a Russian ambassador about the annex of Crimea in 2014 and asked Blinken, “will the U.S. in any way consider recognizing that, ceding that territory, or any territories in the east of Ukraine as a diplomatic way out to avoid a larger war?”

“No,” Blinken stated flatly.

This is not only a demonstration of negotiations breaking down, but it is a confirmation that the secretary of state was deliberately misleading in earlier interviews. He does, in fact, understand what it is that Putin would stand to gain from an invasion of Ukraine.

However, the State Department and the Biden administration appear more interested in making sure the image of diplomacy is perceived without actually taking the necessary steps to meaningfully deter Putin.


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Kevin Haggerty


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