Watch: Psaki forced to explain to CBS reporter why it would be bad for the US to go to war with Russia
Jen Psaki (AFP)

In a stunning moment during Tuesday's White House press briefing a CBS News reporter all but urged the White House to declare war on Russia in response to the war crimes the world has now seen in Bucha, Ukraine, and other parts of the country Vladimir Putin has waged an illegal war against.

CBS News correspondent Steven Portnoy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, "why shouldn't the images of the atrocities for Bucha compel a worldwide unified coalition kinetic response?"

Somewhat stunned, Psaki appeared to respond as if she might not have correctly understood what Portnoy seemed to be asking.

"Do you mean a military war? Tell me more about what you mean," she said, offering him the opportunity to correct his remarks.

"Sure," Portnoy responded confidently. "A military response led by the United States and the international partners."

"As in bringing military troops on the ground from the United States and NATO?" she said, confirming the worst.

"Well," said Portnoy, who is also the head of the White House Correspondents' Association. "The President's described outrageous things you call them 'atrocities,' you've said, 'perhaps we should brace ourselves for worse.' Why not?" he asked, as if the threat of attacking a nuclear power was not an issue.

"I think what the President's objective is, and his responsibility, is to make decisions that are in the interests of the United States and the national security of the United States, and the American people. And that is not to go to war with Russia," Psaki said, almost angrily at having to explain this very basic concept.

"It is to do everything in our power to hold them accountable. To support efforts through international systems to do exactly that. And to provide military assistance, security assistance and support to the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian government. That's exactly what we're doing. But it is not in our interests or in the interest of the American people for us to be in a war with Russia," she concluded.

CBS News, recently under fire for hiring former top Trump official Mick Mulvaney, has grown increasingly right-wing since President Joe Biden took office. Many were angered when Mulvaney's hiring was revealed, and many were outraged when news leaked about top CBS News executives' plans.

"The Washington Post obtained a recording of a meeting with the CBS News copresident Neeraj Khemlani," Insider reported last week."He said a 'likely' Democratic wipeout in the midterms meant CBS needed to hire more Republicans."

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