Psaki: 'We have basically crushed the Russian economy'


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White House press secretary Jen Psaki fielded questions Thursday as the U.S. continues to experience soaring gas prices and unbridled inflation due in part to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Psaki refused to provide a specific “red line” for Russian military aggression, declining to comment on the White House’s prepared response to the possible Russian use of chemical or biological weapons. Asked how the U.S. plans to show a strong outward presence, Psaki offered the ongoing sanctions on Russian goods as evidence of the White House’s commitment to the Ukrainian cause.

“We have basically crushed the Russian economy,” Psaki said to the press.

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“I’m not going to get into red lines from here,” she added. “What I would tell you is that when I said we have not let anything go unanswered, what I mean is we have amped up a range of military and security assistance – a historic amount – to Ukraine, including a range of defensive weapons. We’ve expedited the delivery.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Psaki went on to give estimates of U.S. investments into providing Ukraine with defensive weapons and humanitarian assistance, and the U.S.’s firm suppression of the Russian economy.

“Even in the last 10 days, we’ve delivered about $240 million of that. Also, we have provided a range of humanitarian assistance, and we have basically crushed the Russian economy, where the stock market is not even open. So it’s inaccurate to suggest it’s gone unanswered – we have taken all the steps and rallied the world,” she told reporters.

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At the same press conference, Psaki blamed the Russian invasion for the skyrocketing gas prices and economic inflation in the U.S, but said experts expect the crisis to be “temporary.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that the U.S. has "crushed the Russian economy." 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that the U.S. has “crushed the Russian economy.” 
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“We rely on the assessment of the Federal Reserve and outside economic analysts who give an assessment of how long it will last. The expectations and their assessment at this point is that it will moderate at the end of the year,” Psaki said. “There is also no question that when a foreign dictator invades a foreign country, and when that foreign dictator is the head of a country that is the third-largest supplier of oil in the world, that is going to have an impact. And it is.”

Psaki was further pressed on blaming Russia for the inflation crisis and Democrats’ insistence that the U.S. economic downturn is a direct result of Russia ahead of the midterms, Psaki pushed back, saying, “Well we’ve seen the price of gas go up at least 75 cents since President Putin lined up troops on the border of Ukraine.”

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