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Kirby: Biden ‘Armageddon’ remark reflects ‘the very high stakes that are in play’

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

White House national security spokesman John Kirby in an interview on Sunday said that President Biden’s remark regarding the “prospect of Armageddon” reflects “the very high stakes that are in play” in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats.

“The president was reflecting the very high stakes that are in play right now, Martha,” Kirty told host Martha Raddatz during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“When you have modern nuclear power and the leader of that modern nuclear power willing to use irresponsible rhetoric the way that Mr. Putin has several times in just the last week or two, as well as the high tension in Ukraine over just the course of the last few days,” he added. “So the president, I think, was accurately reflecting the fact that the stakes are very high right now.”

Kirby stressed that Biden’s comments last week were not based on any new intelligence, asserting that the U.S. doesn’t have any indication that Putin “has made that kind of decision.”

During a Democratic fundraiser in New York City, Biden said that Putin was “not joking” in his references to using nuclear weapons.

“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said, referencing the standoff with the Soviet Union in 1962.

However, Kirby on Sunday said that the U.S. has not “seen anything that would give us pause to reconsider our own strategic nuclear posture.”

“What the president was reflecting was that stakes are high right now, given what’s going on on the battlefield in Ukraine and given the very irresponsible and reckless comments made by Vladimir Putin in just the last few days,” he reiterated.

Kirby also noted that Biden has said that the U.S., or its allies, will “not be intimidated.”

–Updated at 11:31 a.m.

Tags Biden John Kirby Martha Raddatz Vladimir Putin
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