White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said there is no new intelligence suggesting Russia is preparing to deploy nuclear weapons, allaying concerns after President Joe Biden stated that the humanity is on the brink of nuclear annihilation.
Speaking at a fundraiser last Thursday, Biden warned that the world is closer to “Armageddon” now than at any point since the Cuban missile crisis. Putin “is 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,” the president said.
“[For the] first time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat of the use [of nuclear weapons] if in fact things continue down the path they are going,” he added.
On Friday, however, Jean-Pierre clarified Biden’s ominous remarks, saying “We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have an indication that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons.”
In an apparent effort to downplay concerns raised by Biden’s statement, Jean-Pierre stressed that the president was merely “reinforcing what we have been saying, which is how seriously we take these threats about nuclear weapons.”
French President Emmanuel Macron was critical of Biden’s remarks, saying that leaders in his position “must speak with prudence.” Speaking to CBS News, former national security advisor John Bolton claimed Biden had “overstated the gravity of the situation we’re in right now” when he suggested the “prospect of Armageddon” is the highest it’s been since the Cuban missile crisis.
However, President Vladimir Putin recently threatened to defend Russian territory with Moscow’s full arsenal, all as four formerly Ukrainian regions prepare to be absorbed into the Russian Federation over Kiev’s vocal objections. Ukrainian forces are currently pushing forward with an offensive to reclaim those territories.
Brown University’s Cost of War Project recently conducted a study that found, “[i]f the US and NATO overreact to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with drastic increases in defense spending and conventional forces in Europe, it could push Moscow toward “nuclear escalation,” according to Insider.
This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com and is republished with permission.