President Joe Biden caused speculation to swirl online Friday when he told troops from the 82nd Airborne Division deployed in Poland that they would be seeing the bravery of the people fighting in Ukraine firsthand.
Biden made the remarks while visiting the soldiers near the Rzeszow airport, which is close to the Polish border with Ukraine.
“We have 100,000 American forces here in Europe. We haven’t had that in a long, long time, because we are the organizing principle for the rest of the world,” the commander in chief said.
Biden told the troops that they are an example to the world, citing words from the Declaration of Independence, that all men (and women, he added ) are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.
“They see you are a multi-ethnic group of Americans that are in fact together and united in one resolve: to defend your country and to help those who need help. That’s why you’re here,” he said.
He then shifted to talk about the people of Ukraine, saying both soldiers and civilians are showing tremendous courage as they stand against the Russian invasion of their country.
“You’re going to see when you’re there, and some of you have been there, you’re going to see women, young people standing in the middle, in the front of a damn tank saying ‘I’m not leaving.’ They’re incredible,” Biden said.
“But they take a lot of inspiration from us,” he added.
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“We are the essential nation,” the president said, referencing an observation by the late Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who called the United States the “indispensable nation.”
Biden told the soldiers the world is in midst of a “fight between democracies and oligarchs.”
“You are the finest fighting force in the history of the world,” he said.
Biden concluded, “May God bless you all and keep you safe.”
Why is Biden telling US troops what they’re going to see when they’re in Ukraine? When are they going to Ukraine? pic.twitter.com/dV9u2FISMY
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 25, 2022
Andrew Feinberg with the UK Independent, tweeted that he had reached out to the White House to see if plans regarding the use of U.S. forces in the Ukraine war had changed.
“The President has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position,” a White House spokesperson told him.
UPDATE: A @WhiteHouse spokesperson tells me: “The President has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position.”
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) March 25, 2022
Steve Guest — who worked for the Republican National Committee’s press team and now is an adviser to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas — tweeted in response, “One cannot overstate just how much of a disaster Biden is when it comes to foreign policy.
“Let’s review what happened today: Biden said troops were going to Ukraine,” which the White House later needed to “clean up.”