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Chuck Todd Peppers Blinken Why Putin Didn’t Escalate During the Trump Admin

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


NBC’s Chuck Todd peppered Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Russia’s preparations for a possible invasion and the effects that an attack will have across Europe.

During an interview on Meet the Press, Todd grilled Blinken on why Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t escalate tensions with Ukraine during the Trump administration.

“Let me ask this question. In your assessment, why did Putin – why is he escalating with Ukraine now? Why didn’t he do this under the previous administration who wasn’t as supportive of NATO? If you just look at it observationally, if he really wanted Ukraine and he didn’t want the United States getting in the way, he perhaps had a – more of a friendlier administration in the previous one. Why do you think he didn’t act then?” Todd asked.

“I hope you get a chance to ask him. But look, here’s what I can say. I think, and I really don’t want to put myself in his mind because that – it’s very hard to do. But I think it’s reasonable to think that as President Putin sees it, Ukraine was slipping further and further away from his grasp over time, increasingly Western-oriented, desirous of a future with Europe,” Blinken said.

“And as that was continuing year after year – by the way, largely, again as a result of his actions and alienating the Ukrainians by seizing Crimea and invading via separatists the Donbas – as that was happening, it no doubt got to a point where he thought if he didn’t do something to change the dynamic, it was just going to happen,” he added.

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“It feels like that your meeting with Sergey Lavrov this week, if it happens, it means no war; if it doesn’t happen, it means war has begun. Is that the fair way to look at that meeting?” Todd asked.

“That’s a pretty good summary, Chuck, yes. Look, we’re doing everything we can, and it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to try diplomatically to prevent a war. And so, I will leave no stone unturned to do that. I reached out to Foreign Minister Lavrov some days ago, suggested we meet this coming week in Europe to see if we can pursue conversations that would allow us to prevent a war and address the security concerns that we all have – the United States, Europe, and Russia – in that conversation. He came back and said, yeah, let’s meet. And we responded and said the meeting’s on provided you don’t invade Ukraine in the meantime,” Blinked said.

Vice President Kamala Harris gave a bizarre response when asked about the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine.

While speaking to reporters at the annual Munich Security Conference before returning to Washington, D.C., Harris spoke about Russia-Ukraine tensions.

“We’re talking about the potential for war in Europe. I mean, let’s really take a moment to understand the significance of what we’re talking about,” Harris told reporters.

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“It’s been over 70 years, and through those 70 years … there has been peace and security,” Harris said. “We are talking about the real possibility of war in Europe.”

A reporter asked Harris what a Putin invasion would actually mean for Americans.

“Can you explain to Americans what exactly they will face” if Putin invades Ukraine?

Harris responded with a word salad.

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“When America stands for her principles and all of the things we hold dear, um, it requires sometimes for us to put ourselves out there in a way that, maybe, we will incur some costs,” Harris said.

WATCH:

The game of chicken between the United States and Russia, with Ukraine sitting in the middle, has gotten more intense by the day.

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