The Biden administration is taking a dangerous new approach to scrutiny of their handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The president’s team has repeatedly dismissed any critical questions as “Russian talking points” and “misinformation.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki and State Department spokesperson Ned Price have squashed inquiries into government sources and alternative narratives surrounding the conflict in Ukraine.
The White House has repeatedly warned that a Russian invasion of the country is imminent, citing troops stationed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and alleged plans to launch a false flag operation to justify an annex.
Price was pressed by a reporter Thursday on the evidence behind U.S. officials’ belief that Russia intended to release an elaborate propaganda video on Ukraine in order to justify beginning a war.
The Pentagon claimed to have intelligence that Russia was planning to “stage a fake attack” in order to embolden support for a war with Ukraine.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, who covers the State Department, pressed Price for evidence to back up the allegation and said it could be “Alex Jones territory.”
“If you want to find solace in information that the Russian government is putting out, that is for you to do,” Price replied.
On Wednesday, Psaki took a swipe at Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, suggesting the lawmaker is consuming “Russian disinformation” and “parroting” talking points after the senator called on the Biden administration to suspend its support for Ukraine to become a member of NATO and focus instead on blocking Chinese ambitions in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Well, if you are just digesting Russian misinformation and parroting Russian talking points, you are not aligned with a long-standing bipartisan American values, which is to stand up for the sovereignty of countries like Ukraine,” Psaki said in reply to a reporter asking her opinion on the senator’s statements.
“But others have their right to choose their own alliances and also to stand against very clearly the efforts or attempts or potential attempts by any country to invade and take territory of another country,” Psaki added. “That applies to Sen. Hawley, but it also applies to others who may be parroting the talking points of Russian propaganda leaders.”
Asked by a reporter Thursday whether the U.S. planned to release evidence of the military’s role in the death of civilians in Syria during a counterterrorism airstrike, Psaki again defaulted to suggesting that the reporter was using “misinformation,” claiming that it may have been provided to him by a terrorist group such as ISIS.
Psaki appeared to scale this aggressive strategy back a bit on Friday, calmly claiming to reporters that the Biden administration welcomes “good faith scrutiny.”
“Let me just start by saying that we welcome tough questions and good faith scrutiny,” Psaki said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t come out here. I wouldn’t have come out or almost 180 times and engaged with all of you.”
Author: Darren Marcos