President Joe Biden was incensed at a reporter for politely but insensitively asking him a question. He announced on Monday that he would not be sending American troops to Ukraine to aid in that country's conflict with Russia, The Daily Mail reported.
“No we’re sending materials like we have – billions of dollars,” he said to The Daily Mail when confronted at a Toys For Tots event.
The incident followed a story from NBC that claimed the administration was thinking about sending a few American soldiers to Ukraine. According to the article, the administration was considering sending more American troops to Ukraine to monitor how supplies were being used.
“The Pentagon has a couple of dozen U.S. troops in Ukraine, including a very small number already assigned to making sure weapons reach their intended recipients.
"Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other military leaders want to enhance the accountability mission and make sure there are experts in the country to help Ukraine use critical weapons systems, including air defense and counter-drone systems,” NBC News said.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder weighed in on the issue saying, “The U.S. remains steadfast in its support of Ukraine and its ability to defend against Russia’s unprovoked aggression, and the U.S. presence at Embassy Kyiv reflects that enduring commitment.
"As soon as security conditions permitted in late May, DoD reopened its Defense Attaché Office (DAO) and Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the Embassy in Kyiv to perform mission-critical functions.
"DoD coordinates its personnel levels in connection with the State Department and interagency, as part of the overall Embassy footprint. We will continue to review our presence in-country, as security conditions evolve.
"Though the ODC is embedded within the U.S. Embassy, it is staffed exclusively by DoD personnel. For operational security and force protection reasons, we won’t discuss specific numbers of personnel."
Biden to reporter: "Are we sending troops to Ukraine? No, we're sending material, like we have. Billions of dollars." pic.twitter.com/6hsR8wsXR7
— Ken Johnson (@KenJohn78863089) December 12, 2022
According to officials, the number of additional troops going to Ukraine would be in the low single digits.
Republicans who will control significant committees in the House in January have been alerting the Biden administration that oversight hearings will soon be held. That includes learning how public money has been used to support Ukraine's defense against Russian invaders, which might present the White House with an immediate issue.
According to Fox News, the “administration is scrambling to track the nearly $20 billion in military aid it has sent to Ukraine as Republicans warn of impending audits when they take control of the House in January.”
Fox News continued, "Likely future House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said his party will not be giving Ukraine a “blank check” to fend off Russia’s invasion. A potential audit would determine how much, if any, of the U.S. aid is ending up in the wrong hands. The Biden administration’s previous tracking efforts have inspected only a fraction of the aid provided to the country.
"The Republican push to ramp up oversight enjoys some bipartisan support in Congress. Some staunch Ukraine allies fear the party will cut off aid to the country entirely, however. Firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has vowed to “hold our government accountable” for Ukraine spending, and some of her colleagues across the aisle are echoing the message.