‘You’re Playing A Game With Me’: Biden Snaps At CBS Reporter Asking About Deterrence

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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President Joe Biden snapped at CBS reporter Christina Ruffini after she asked a question about deterrents during a Thursday press conference in Brussels, Belgium.

Ruffini asked the president if he is convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin will “alter course” over the increased number of sanctions imposed on 328 members of the Russian State Duma, bank board members and defense entities. Biden said sanctions “never deter,” but it is the “maintenance of sanctions” that will stop Putin.

“Do you believe the actions today will have an impact on making Russia change course in Ukraine?” Ruffini followed up.

“That’s not what I said, you’re playing a game with me,” the president snapped. “I know, the answer’s no. I think what happens is we have to demonstrate the purpose.”


The president said unification is the “single most important thing” and emphasized the need to understand what a “brute” Putin is. He also said the world must look to the increasing number of deaths in Ukraine. (RELATED: Biden Says ‘No One Expected’ His Sanctions To Work Against Putin As He Announced More Sanctions) 

“If you’re Putin, and you think that Europe is gonna crack in a month, six weeks or two months, they can take anything for another month,” the president continued. “But we have to demonstrate the reason I asked for the meeting, we have to stay fully, totally, thoroughly united.”

The Biden administration had repeatedly said the sanctions’ intent is to deter Russia. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told Fox News in February that the sanctions are meant to have a “deterrent effect.” Vice President Kamala Harris said the sanctions could deter Putin from further aggression at the Munich Security Conference in late February.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said sanctions are designed to deter, saying, “They have to be set up in a way where if Putin moves, then the costs are imposed.”

The administration began imposing sanctions in late February after Putin recognized and deployed troops into two separatist-controlled regions of Ukraine, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic. The sanctions fully blocked two Russian banks and access to Western assistance in easing the country’s national debt.