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Tipsheet

Biden Admin Says Critics of U.S. Involvement in Ukraine-Russia Conflict are Spewing 'Russian Talking Points'

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden's administration – from the White House to the State Department – is claiming that individuals questioning the U.S. approach to tensions between Ukraine and Russia are using "Russian misinformation" to spout Russian "talking points."

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At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki alleged Wednesday that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was consuming "Russian misinformation" and using "Russian talking points" after the lawmaker suggested that the administration prioritize curbing the threat of Chinese ambitions instead of supporting Ukraine to become a NATO member.

"Well, if you are just digesting Russian misinformation and parroting Russian talking points, you are not aligned with a long-standing bipartisan American value, which is to stand up for the sovereignty of countries like Ukraine," Psaki said after a reporter asked about her thoughts on Hawley's comments.

"But others have their right to choose their own alliances and also to stand against very clearly the efforts or attempts or potential attempts by any country to invade and take territory of another country," she continued. "That applies to Sen. Hawley, but it also applies to others who may be parroting the talking points of Russian propaganda leaders."

And at the State Department on Thursday, spokesperson Ned Price was asked by a reporter for the evidence behind the Pentagon's claim that the U.S. has intelligence revealing that Russia may release a staged propaganda video portraying a Ukrainian attack on Russia to justify a war. 

Reporter Matt Lee of The Associated Press pressed Price for evidence to back up the U.S. government's allegation and suggested that it could be "Alex Jones territory."

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Price responded, "If you want to find solace in information that the Russian government is putting out, that is for you to do."

Also on Thursday, Psaki suggested that a reporter was relying on information from ISIS when she was asked if the U.S. was going to release evidence of the military's role in the death of civilians in Syria resulting from the U.S. targeting al-Qurayshi, a member of ISIS. 

"Skeptical of the U.S. military's assessment when they went and took out the leader of ISIS, that they are not providing accurate information, and ISIS is providing accurate information?" Psaki asked.

The Syria Civil Defense reported that at least 13 people, including six children, were killed during the U.S. raid. Senior Biden administration officials said al-Qurayshi set off a suicide bomb, killing himself and his family.

But at Friday's press briefing, Psaki assured reporters that the Biden administration welcomes "tough questions and good faith scrutiny."

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