Joe Biden was at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday, where he made a rather troubling remark during a press conference regarding Russia’s potential use of chemical weapons against Ukraine.

After Biden ruled out military action against Russia, Cecilia Vega of ABC News asked him if he was making a mistake to do so.

“Could Putin have been emboldened, knowing that you were not going to get involved directly in this conflict?”

“No, and no,” Biden insisted.

“You do not believe that?” Vega asked. “And to clarify, on chemical weapons: Could — if chemical weapons were used in Ukraine, would that trigger a military response from NATO?”

“It would re- — it would trigger a response in kind, whether or not — you’re asking whether NATO would cross; we’d make that decision at the time.”

Wait … what? To respond in kind means to respond in a similar matter, which means Joe Biden quite literally said that NATO would respond to a chemical attack by Russia on Ukraine with a chemical attack on Russia. Did he really mean that? Chemical weapons are banned according to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Whether or not Biden actually meant what he said, he still said it. Either he didn’t understand what he was saying or “misspoke,” but when you’re playing the role of President of the United States, words actually matter, and I can only wonder what kind of headaches this absurd statement caused for the White House.

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