President Biden in a new interview dismissed the idea that the United States could not simultaneously support Israel in its war against Hamas and Ukraine in its war against Russia.
“We’re the United States of America for God’s sake, the most powerful nation in the history– not in the world, in the history of the world,” Biden said in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday. “We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense.”
Biden argued that the two conflicts “overwhelmingly” relate to the safety of the American people.
“In Ukraine one of my objectives was to prevent [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, who has committed war crimes himself, who– from being able to occupy an independent country that borders NATO allies and is on the Russian border,” Biden said. “Imagine what happens now if he were able to succeed. Have you ever known a major war in Europe we didn’t get sucked into? We don’t want that to happen.”
“We want to make sure those democracies are sustained. And Ukraine is critical in making sure that happens,” Biden added.
Biden sat down with “60 Minutes” at the White House days after Hamas, the militant group that controls Hamas, launched terrorist attacks against Israel that left 1,000 Israelis dead. Thousands morePalestinians have been killed during ensuing fighting in Gaza.
More than two dozen Americans were killed in the attacks, and more than a dozen remain unaccounted for.
The Biden administration has moved military assets closer to Israel in support of the Jewish state and has sent munitions and interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
At the same time, Congress has provided billions of dollars in military and financial assistance to Ukraine in the roughly 20 months since Russia launched an unprovoked invasion in February 2022.
The White House is expected to ask Congress to provide additional aid to Israel in the coming days, and officials are likely to try and package that request with an ask for more assistance for Ukraine. The House however, which currently sits without a Speaker, is unable to pass any legislation before someone is officially elected to the post.
While there is bipartisan support for both Israel and Ukraine in Congress, some House Republicans have voiced opposition to continued aid for Ukraine, questioning how it benefits the U.S.