Biden gaffe: U.S. package to Ukraine includes 'effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs'

The White House official transcript tried to play the gaffe off as a joke.

Updated: April 29, 2022 - 11:58am

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President Joe Biden on Thursday mistakenly spoke about efforts to "accommodate" Russian oligarchs during a speech asking Congress for additional funding to Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

The White House official transcript tried to play the gaffe off as a joke, but the president does not appear to be joking in the video of his speech.

"In addition to this supplemental funding, I'm also sending to Congress a comprehensive package of – that will enhance our underlying effort to accommodate [hold accountable] the Russian oligarchs and make sure we take their – take their ill-begotten gains. Ha, we’re going to 'accommodate' them," he said, according to the White House transcript.

Biden appeared to have a difficult time with the next sentence also: "We're going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and other ill-begotten gains of Putin’s kleptoc- – yeah – kleptocracy and klep- – the guys who are the kleptocracies. (Laughs.)  But these are bad guys." 

The president said the United States has already "sent thousands of anti-armor, anti-missiles, helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, machine guns, rifles, radar systems, more than 50 million rounds of ammunition," making another gaffe when he meant to say anti-air missiles, rather than "anti-missiles."

Biden now wants Congress to send $33 billion to Ukraine, including $20 billion for military assistance, $8.5 billion in economic assistance and $3 billion in humanitarian aid, Reuters reported.

Politicians took note on social media of Biden's mistakes during his speech.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called Biden's speech "alarming."

"Joe Biden isn't well," tweeted commentator Clay Travis. "This is an embarrassment to our country and the world. He can barely read. Everyone can see the look in his eyes here, he's lost."

Questions about the president's cognitive fitness were raised last week as well after the Easter Bunny, played by Director of White House Planning Meghan Hays, appears to have stopped Biden from answering questions about Afghanistan.