President Joe Biden fielded a host of questions on Wednesday during a nearly two-hour-long press conference touching on issues ranging from the economy to dire inflation numbers, the bungled Afghanistan withdrawal and the ongoing COVID crisis.
Much of the time was spent on the escalating crisis between Russia and Ukraine. Biden believes Russia's president Vladimir Putin is planning to attack Ukraine but doesn’t want a full-blown war.
"My guess is he will move in, he has to do something,” said Biden.
Newly released satellite images show Russia continuing to amass tanks, artillery, and military troops along Ukraine's border.
"Look, the only war that's worse than one that's intended is one that's unintended. And what I'm concerned about is this could get out of hand, very easily get out of hand,” said Biden.
Russia has more than 100,000 troops deployed and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that number could double on "relatively short order."
While Biden warned Putin of serious consequences of invading, he seemed to imply that a smaller incursion into Ukraine would not prompt massive sanctions.
"Russia will be held accountable if it invades and it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera. But if they actually do what they're capable of doing with the force amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia,” he said.
However, at his news conference, the president also said NATO countries aren't exactly unified on their exact response to Russia. “There are differences, are differences in NATO as to what countries are willing to do, depending on what happens,” he shared.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blasted Biden's "minor incursion" comment on Twitter saying, "We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power."
We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 20, 2022
Even the establishment media have called out Biden for downplaying a potential "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine. Conservatives are criticizing Biden for not standing up firmly to Putin, saying he essentially gave him a green light to invade Ukraine.
BREAKING: Russian Collusion by U.S. President finally found. https://t.co/nNVmI04XoW
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 20, 2022
On the eve of the first anniversary of his swearing-in, the president took a defiant tone on his domestic accomplishments, even though major parts of his agenda have stalled and Americans are increasingly frustrated with his administration.
"Can you think of any other presidents done as much in one year? Name one,” said Biden.
Despite rising inflation and COVID numbers surging, the president was asked if he over-promised to the American people.
“I didn't over-promise. And, what I have probably outperformed what anybody thought would happen,” he said.
The president repeatedly blamed Republicans for his inability to get anything done despite the fact that his party controls the entire federal government, including Congress.
"I did not anticipate that there'd be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn't get anything done. Think about this, what is Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they're for,” he said.
Asked about his approval ratings, which have plummeted over the year, the president said he didn't believe in polls.
A new survey out Wednesday by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows more Americans disapprove than approve of how Biden is handling his job as president, 56 percent to 43 percent.
And as of now, just 28 percent of Americans say they want Biden to run for re-election in 2024, including only 48 percent of Democrats.