National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Sunday doubled down on President Joe Biden’s “Armageddon” comments from last week.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Kirby defended the remarks made by Biden at a Democratic Party fundraiser that suggested the U.S. could be on the verge of a nuclear exchange.
“The president was reflecting the very high stakes that are in play right now,” Kirby told host Martha Raddatz. “When you have modern nuclear power and the leader of that modern nuclear power willing to use irresponsible rhetoric the way that Mr. Putin has several times in just the last week or two, as well as the high tensions in Ukraine over just the course of the last few days. So the president, I think, was accurately reflecting the fact that the stakes are very high right now.”
“The president was accurately reflecting the fact that the stakes are very high right now.”
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tells @MarthaRaddatz that Pres. Biden’s warning about nuclear weapons follows Putin’s “irresponsible rhetoric.” https://t.co/AVno0YUpZU pic.twitter.com/MOEyFS3mj4
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 9, 2022
During a private fundraiser with Democrats at the home of media investor James Murdoch, Biden warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not joking” about the possibility of using “tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis,” Biden said. “[W]e have a direct threat of the use of nuclear weapons if in fact things continue down the path they are going.”
Biden’s warning comes after the U.S. federal government announced a $290 million purchase of Nplate, a drug used to treat severe radiation sickness.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the purchase this week from Amgen, a California-based company.
“This is part of our ongoing work for preparedness and radiological security,” a spokesperson for the department said in a statement. “It has not been accelerated by the situation in Ukraine.”
Biden’s comments also came after the U.K. Telegraph reported that a Russian military train is reportedly transporting equipment for the nation’s nuclear weapons program to the frontlines of its war with Ukraine, sparking fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin could be preparing to use nuclear weapons on the battlefield amid his nation’s mounting losses in the war.
The Telegraph reported that the train is “operated by the secretive nuclear division and linked to the 12th main directorate of the Russian ministry of defence.” The train, pictured on a Russian propaganda Telegram account, was reportedly on its way to Ukraine from central Russia.
Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report.