(FreedomBeacon.com)- During a State Department press briefing last Wednesday, Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall challenged Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the administration’s approach to Russia.
Hall asked Blinken if he considered the likelihood that Russia is making the US “jump through hoops” just to buy time until they’re ready to invade Ukraine. He cited the Kremlin’s demand that the US hand-deliver written responses to questions that have already been answered, and while the US jumps through hoops like these, Russia is busy “destabilizing Ukraine from within.”
A testy Blinken dismissed Hall’s remarks, noting “we can walk and chew gum at the same time.” He said the administration has been clear with Russia that they have two paths, diplomacy or “a path of defense and deterrence.” He said if Russia chooses the latter, it “will lead to massive consequences.”
Blinken argued that while the State Department engages in diplomacy, the United States has also “been very resolutely preparing” for a possible Russian “path to aggression.”
Hall interrupted Blinken, pointing out that Russia is already being aggressive.
An irritated Blinken demanded that Hall let him finish.
He then launched into a lengthy monologue rehashing everything the US has done to shore up its support for Ukraine including providing military assistance, allowing other countries with US-supplied military equipment to share it with Ukraine, and helping to bolster Ukraine’s economy.
He said the administration is also working to “shore up” Europe’s energy supply in case a Russian invasion of Ukraine causes disruptions. And he noted that the president ordered the Pentagon to make sure the US is “fully prepared on a moment’s notice to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank” in case Russia invades.
And Blinken just kept talking.
He repeated what he said about the “two paths” and said the defense and deterrence path is reinforcing US diplomacy. He reiterated that they would leave no stone unturned in seeking a diplomatic solution and resolve the conflict peacefully, but added that the US will be prepared either way.