White House Says Biden’s ‘Armageddon’ Comment Not Based on New Intelligence

In an apparent effort to downplay the president’s statement, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters the US has not seen any reason to adjust its nuclear posture

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said there is no new intelligence suggesting Russia was deploying nuclear weapons. She was speaking with reporters about President Joe Biden’s statement that the US and Russia are approaching armageddon. The comment raised alarms of a potential nuclear war between NATO and Russia.

Biden warned that the world is closer to “Armageddon” now than at any point since the Cuban missile crisis. Putin “is not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming,” the President said.

“First time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have a direct threat of the use [of nuclear weapons] if in fact things continue down the path they are going,” he added while speaking at a fundraiser Thursday.

On Friday, Jean-Pierre told reporters “We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have an indication that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons.”

She appeared to be attempting to downplay concerns raised by Biden’s statement. “He was reinforcing what we have been saying, which is how seriously we take these threats about nuclear weapons,” Jean-Pierre said.

French President Emmanuel Macron was critical of Biden’s remarks saying, “We must speak with prudence.” Speaking to CBS News, former national security advisor John Bolton claimed Biden had “overstated the gravity of the situation we’re in right now” when he suggested the “prospect of Armageddon” is the highest it’s been since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

However, President Vladimir Putin recently threatened to defend Russian territory with Moscow’s full arsenal. Ukrainian forces are currently pushing forward with an offensive in regions claimed by Russia.

Brown University’s Cost of War Project recently conducted a study that found, "[i]f the US and NATO overreact to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with drastic increases in defense spending and conventional forces in Europe, it could push Moscow toward “nuclear escalation,” according to Insider.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.