President Joe Biden sounded the alarm and raised many eyebrows claiming Russian President Vladimir Putin is flirting with the use of nuclear weapons.
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since [President John F.] Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” Biden warned during a Democratic Party fundraiser in New York.
He went on to caution that there is no “such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”
The president’s chilling assessment sent shockwaves through the news media and at least one prominent world leader spoke out against his heated rhetoric.
“We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters,” declared French President Emmanuel Macron.
He has previously cautioned Biden against potentially escalating tensions between Russia and the West, including after the U.S. president seemed to endorse ousting Putin, whom he called a “butcher.”
Macron expressed hope at the time that cooler heads would prevail, asserting that he “would not use those words” and calling for diplomacy that would result in a ceasefire in Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
“If we want to do that, we can’t escalate either in words or actions,” the French president declared.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sought to provide some context to Biden’s warning, telling reporters that he “was reinforcing what we have been saying, which is how seriously we take these threats about nuclear weapons.”
As for whether there is any new evidence to suggest heightened concerns about a nuclear strike, she said: “We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons.”
A number of Biden’s domestic critics have expressed dismay that he offered such an alarming statement while at a private fundraising event.
Hillary Clinton ran an entire campaign saying if Trump was elected, there’d be a nuclear war. Biden’s been in office less than 2 years and has led us to the brink of "nuclear armageddon." HHS just bought $290 million of emergency radiation sickness medication! Biden is a DISASTER
— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) October 7, 2022
Even CNN noted that it was “striking” for him “to speak so candidly and invoke Armageddon, particularly at a fundraiser, while his aides from the National Security Council to the State Department to the Pentagon have spoken in much more measured terms, saying they take the threats seriously but don’t see movement on them from the Kremlin.”