President Joe Biden made a blunder as he answered questions from reporters at the White House prior to a trip to Chicago to deliver an address on “Bidenomics.” The gaffe, which has caused a stir abroad, was made as the President spoke of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his conflicts at home and abroad.
“It’s hard to tell, but he is clearly losing the war in Iraq, he’s losing the war at home, and he has become a bit of a pariah around the world. And it’s not just NATO. It’s not just the European Union. It’s Japan. It’s, you know, 40 nations,” Biden said.
But Putin is not losing a war in Iraq. President Biden was likely speaking about Russia’s war in Ukraine, though his comments may complicate things even further between the two nations.
The mistake comes just days after a brief rebellion in Russia last week saw the Wagner Group head toward Moscow after expressing discontent with Russian military leadership. With tensions rising between Russia and Ukraine, the error comes at an especially contentious time for the two countries.
In a joint statement, Ukraine and NATO both strongly criticized the comment, saying it “not only insults the sacrifices of both Russian and Ukrainian citizens, but endangers the security of both nations.”
Vice President Kamala Harris is reportedly planning a trip to Ukraine in the coming weeks in an effort to make amends. The incident has also left some observers and analysts wondering if President Joe Biden’s misstatement was a deliberate attempt to stir the pot or simply an oversight.
The White House has yet to issue an official apology for the mistake, but has said Biden “regrets his gaffe and is working to clarify his remarks in order to avoid any further misunderstandings.”
Regardless, the incident has put a spotlight on the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which have long been a source of tension in the region.
It remains to be seen what lasting damage, if any, the incident will have on relations between the two countries and on the security of Europe.
Biden says Putin “is clearly losing the war in Iraq” pic.twitter.com/C5PbOAFj7I
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) June 28, 2023