Biden: Putin’s invasion creating ‘opposite effect’ to its intent

“Russia will play a serious price for this short-term and long-term, particularly long-term,” Biden said, adding that democracies across the world are banding together toward the goal of minimizing chaos sown by Putin.

The European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States on Saturday imposed further financial sanctions on Russia, including removing selected Russian banks from the SWIFT banking message system and placing restrictive measures on the Russian Central Bank.

They also committed to launching a “transatlantic task force” to identify and freeze the assets of individuals and companies, and pledged to increase coordination “against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.”

Earlier in the week, Biden said Putin chose “a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,” adding that the world would hold Russia accountable for the death and destruction wrought in its neighboring country.

By Saturday afternoon, Russia had pushed more than half of the 150,000-plus troops it had arrayed around Ukraine into the country. But no major cities have fallen to Russian forces amid fierce Ukrainian resistance and a US official indicated Saturday that Russian leaders appear “increasingly frustrated” with the invasion’s progress.

In the Saturday interview, Biden shot back at former President Donald Trump’s remarks praising Putin’s recognition of breakaway regions of Ukraine, saying: “I put as much stock in Trump saying that Putin’s a genius as I do when he called himself a stable genius.”

Trump’s Putin-friendly comments sparked outrage from Democrats who noted that a former US president was taking the side of the autocrat amid Russian moves to invade a sovereign country.

The former president, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando on Saturday evening, called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “brave man” and the attack on Ukraine “appalling.” He continued to pin the blame for the invasion on Biden.

Few other GOP leaders took an overtly pro-Putin stance, with most of the Republican caucus in Congress calling on sanctions for Russia and focusing their messaging on Biden’s response to the crisis. However, some prominent conservatives including Fox New host Tucker Carlson have rallyed to the Kremlin’s cause.

The interview was also Biden’s first since he nominated US Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Friday, making her the first Black woman ever selected. He’d committed to nominating a Black woman before he became president, saying the highest court in the land should reflect the makeup of the country.

“She’s brilliant,” Biden said Saturday, listing Jackson’s accomplishments, such as clerking for the Supreme Court. “And she has a real character. I think she character matters. And I think background, and being able to understand perspectives about other people in the country, matters as well.”

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