Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, rebuked the US President Joe Biden for "putting fear in Americans". She believes Biden's Armageddon warning on Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons is "unproductive".
"What's interesting to me, it's so unproductive," Haley said on FOX News's The Five on Friday. "Every time he speaks, it's just unproductive because on one side, you're putting fear in Americans which is not helpful, and it really questions his leadership on the other side."
The former governor of South Carolina highlighted that if Biden knows Putin so well, he would know he should not be saying "this is Armageddon". Haley said the US president needs to have strong, bold leadership.
"He needs to say, look if you do anything with nukes, there'll be hell to pay. He needs to remind China and Iran, are you supporting this conversation? And you know, he needs to just stay strong in what we have, our military can handle this. We're not going to need to send troops on the ground if something happens." Haley said Biden needs to have deterrence. "When President Trump was in office, you didn't see these dictators doing this because there wasn't the weakness that we're seeing today."
Her comments come after Biden issued a dire warning about Putin's willingness to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He warned that if such weapons are deployed, "Armageddon" would follow.
No New Intelligence
However, the White House said there is no new intelligence or signs that such an attack might happen soon. In fact, it shows how seriously the US is taking such threats. President Biden had issued the warning at a private fundraising event in New York on Thursday evening. These comments are seen as his most outspoken remarks yet on the threat of wartime nuclear weapons being used for the first time since 1945.
Moreover, Biden has described the current standoff over Ukraine as the most dangerous nuclear moment since the Cuban missile crisis 60 years ago this month. At the fundraiser, the US president told donors that he is not joking when he talks about the potential use of tactical nuclear weapons. "I don't think there's any such thing as an ability to easily use tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.
Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said there was no information of Russia preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons. She highlighted that the president was speaking about concerns about Putin's threats to use nuclear weapons. "We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons."
But James Acton, the co-director of the nuclear policy programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, believes Biden's comments were not just running his mouth off. He tweeted that the US president is responsible for the safety of hundreds of millions of people during an actual nuclear crisis. "His comments tell us about his focus right now."
The world leaders are taking a cautious approach to the use of nuclear weapons rhetoric. France President Emmanuel Macron declined to enter into political fiction. "We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters," he said. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, said they are taking the threats of President Putin very seriously. But she added that they will not be blackmailed by what he says. "We have a clear stance on how to proceed."
The European Council president Charles Michel said they have a strong determination to support Ukraine and firmness in their condemnation of Russia. "We take the threat and all threats of any escalation very seriously, but we don't intend to be intimidated."