We’ve sought to follow a variety of “walkbacks” from President Biden’s logorrhea over the past week. It’s not that he aggravated a chronic case with a severe outbreak in Europe. That logorrhea — as in Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression,” it’s a frustrating mess.
Speaking with the 82nd Airborne in Rzeszów, Poland, on March 25 — White House transcript here — Biden sought to excite them over the sights they would see in Ukraine:
And — so, you know, with the Ukrainian people — Ukrainian people have a lot of backbone. They have a lot of guts. And I’m sure you’re observing it. And I don’t mean just their military, which is — we’ve been training since back when they — Russia moved into the — in the southeast — southeast Ukraine — but also the average citizen. Look at how they’re stepping up. Look at how they’re stepping up.
And you’re going to see when you’re there. And you — some — some of you have been there. You’re going to see — you’re going to see women, young people standing — standing the middle of — in front of a damn tank, just saying, “I’m not leaving. I’m holding my ground.” They’re incredible. But they take a lot of inspiration from us.
Back home at his March 28 press conference– White House transcript here — Biden denied he meant what he said. Biden “explained” with his accustomed eloquence: “I was referring to with — being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland.”
So the 82nd Airborne is training Ukrainian troops in Poland? At yesterday’s press briefing — White House transcript here — White House communications director Kate Bedingfield was asked whether Biden “accidentally reveal[ed] a previously unknown effort for the U.S. to be training Ukrainian forces.”
Bedingfield “explained,” so to speak: “The troops that he met with in Poland routinely interact with Ukrainians. That is something that’s known. Many of you were, again, on the trip with us. That is something that’s known. That is in no way revealing compromised information. That being said, there’s nothing further that I have to say on that beyond what the President said yesterday.”
Senator Tom Cotton followed up with General Tod Wolters at the Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday. General Wolters is the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He knows what he is talking about. The Washington Examiner has a good story on his testimony here. The Daily Mail posts video with its story here.
General Wolters testified: “I do not believe we are in the process of currently training military forces from Ukraine in Poland. There are liaisons that are there that are being given advice, and that’s different than I think you’re referring to with respect to training.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby fluently translated the answer into bureaucratese at his press briefing yesterday: “It’s not training in the classic sense that many people think of training. I would just say it’s liaising.” Reuters features the bureaucratese in the headline “U.S. liaising with Ukrainian forces in Poland, Pentagon says.”
Liaise with me, baby. It’s almost funny.