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Tipsheet

White House Again Denies Any U.S. Role in Nord Stream Pipeline Sabotage

Swedish Coast Guard via AP

The White House's John Kirby — who seems to work as a pinch hitter on tough briefing days for Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre as much as he does his day job as the National Security Council's Coordinator for Strategic Communications — hit the airwaves on Sunday and renewed strong denials of any U.S. involvement in the sabotage of Russia's Nord Stream pipeline.

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Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Kirby was asked by host Shannon Bream about a report by award-winning journalist Seymour Hersch that Townhall covered in early February. As Leah reported when the story first ran:

A bombshell report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersch alleges specialized U.S. Navy diving teams were responsible for blowing up the underwater Nord Stream pipelines that supplied Russian gas to Western Europe...

While the Biden administration initially blamed Russia for sabotaging their own pipeline, suspicions were raised about possible U.S. involvement after the president himself vowed that "we will bring an end" to the Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine. Asked by a reporter how that would be possible, pointing out that it was in Germany's control, the commander in chief replied, "I promise you we will be able to do it."

So, the threats were there, the claims of ability were there, but the Biden administration said the United States didn't blow the pipelines. Usually, that would be a "nuff said" situation and the White House would be able to move on. But Bream raised the story again, plus its sources that include someone with "direct knowledge of the process," and Biden's previous statements about being "able to" bring an end to Nord Stream if the U.S. wanted to cut off Russia's stream of oil to other countries.

But Kirby wasn't having any of it. "It's a completely false story," Kirby said before reiterating the same thing several times. "There is no truth to it, Shannon — not a shred of it — it is not true. The United States, and no proxies of the United States, had anything to do with that," he continued. "Nothing."

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Bream then asked Kirby whether President Biden would be obligated to notify Congress before taking such an action, but Kirby again hit the denials without, curiously, actually answering the question.

"We did not take any such operation, Shannon, and obviously we keep Congress informed appropriately of things — both classified and unclassified — but I can tell you now, regardless of the notification process, there was no U.S. involvement in this," Kirby emphasized. "None. Zero. It's completely false," he said again of Hersch's story. 

But would Biden need to let Congress know before he took action to sabotage another country's infrastructure? Kirby, for whatever reason, declined to answer. 

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