White House Holding Classified Bipartisan Briefings For Lawmakers On Ukraine

Screenshot White House Press Briefing 1/25/22, YouTube

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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The White House is holding two classified bipartisan briefings for congressional leadership on Ukraine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

The meetings coincide with a months-long buildup of Russian troops at the Ukrainian border. The administration recently put 8,500 U.S. troops “on a heightened preparedness to deploy” to Eastern Europe amid the rise in tensions, State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday.

“So these briefings are led, of course, by the State Department and Defense departments, but today we are providing two additional classified bipartisan briefings for House and Senate leadership and committee staff,” Psaki said, confirming earlier reporting by Punchbowl News. (RELATED: Biden, Putin Touch On Number Of Topics, Declare Meeting ‘Constructive’ Despite Wide Range Of Issues Remaining)

“They’ll be providing updates on recent developments with Ukraine and Russia and the state of play. We’re also working on all members briefings for the House in the Senate in the coming days,” Psaki added.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for all member briefings, Punchbowl News reported. These will have to be tabled, however, until Congress returns.

Psaki noted that the administration has had “dozens of engagements with Congress” regarding Ukraine since December. These engagements, she said, include two held by Biden. (RELATED: Ukrainian President Zelensky Reminds Biden That ‘There Are No Minor Incursions’ After Press Conference Debacle)

The administration continues to warn of a possible imminent attack by Russia against Ukraine. Psaki said Jan. 18 that “this is an extremely dangerous situation” and the State Department has, since then, began evacuating some employees and family members at the embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options,” the State Department said in a press release Sunday.