White House says nuclear posture on Russia hasn't changed, following Biden's 'Armageddon' remark
"The kind of irresponsible rhetoric we have seen is no way for the leader of a nuclear-armed state to speak, and that's what the president was making very clear," Karine Jean-Pierre said.
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The White House has not changed its position regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons despite President Biden’s remarks of a potential "Armageddon," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre clarified Friday.
"We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons," Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One, according to The Hill.
She said that Biden was simply reinforcing the administration's message that Putin's threats were irresponsible.
"The kind of irresponsible rhetoric we have seen is no way for the leader of a nuclear-armed state to speak, and that's what the president was making very clear," Jean-Pierre said.
Last month, Putin said that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend Russian territory as he accused the U.S. and its allies of "nuclear blackmail" and working to "destroy" his country.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told CNN that Putin's comments were just "saber-rattling," while White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that there would be severe consequences if Russia follows through on the threat.
Biden spoke at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser in New York City on Thursday night where he was skeptical that Putin would use smaller nuclear weapons that wouldn't cause "Armageddon."
"We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis," Biden said, referencing the 1962 standoff with the USSR.
"We've got a guy I know fairly well, Biden said regarding Putin. "He's not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming."
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