On Monday, President Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan appeared on all three network morning shows to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. However, while NBC and CBS actually pressed the White House official on whether the administration’s response to Russian aggression was strong enough, ABC’s Good Morning America took the opposite approach by lobbing softballs and even suggesting the U.S. should appease Vladimir Putin with “concessions.”
“There have been reports of a possible meeting with Putin and President Biden. How likely is that to happen?,” GMAMichael Strahan (former NFL player) was the co-host. He asked Sullivan during an interview in the 7:00 a.m. hour. ET hour. Strahan was interested in the U.S.’s willingness to offer the Russian dictator what they had discussed with Biden and Putin. “So if there is – if an agreement is likely, what would it look like? Are there concessions that the U.S., NATO, along with Ukraine, could make to Russia to avoid war?”
In contrast to that easy exchange, on NBC’s Today show, fill-in co-host Sheinelle Jones was skeptical of Biden meeting with Putin: “Could this summit seriously force President Putin to back down or are we just delaying the inevitable?” Fellow substitute host Tom Llamas actually cited criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the White House wasn’t doing enough:
Jake, over the weekend, Ukraine’s president called out the U.S., and really the world, for not announcing sanctions, right? Not going public with the sanctions, saying that by the time they invade it’s gonna be too late. His quote was, “We don’t need your sanctions after the bombardment.” What do you say to that?
Llamas later asked: “Jake, we are convinced that Russia will invade Ukraine. What leads you to believe that they’re going to stop at Ukraine?”
You can find more information here CBS Mornings, Sullivan was at least gently pressed on similar topics, even liberal co-host Gayle King questioned whether the administration should be “more proactive”:
Yesterday Face the Nation, Jake, the Russian ambassador said, “Listen, there are no such plans for an invasion.” Which is so confusing because you know when you’re a little kid and they say if it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, looks like a duck, it’s a duck. It seems like we’re just waiting for something to happen. Could we do more?
Co-host Nate Burleson raised the possibility of Americans being left behind, like in Afghanistan, in the wake of an invasion: “Jake, the President said the military will not help evacuate Americans from Russia or Ukraine. What is the Biden administration doing to help ensure that Americans can leave those countries safely and quickly if needed?”
King closed the exchange by noting some other problems that Americans face:
Jake, could you please explain to the American people why this is important? In this country people are looking at COVID, they’re looking at rising prices, they’re looking at, you know, gas is high, the food is high. Why should we be – why should we pay close attention to this, why does this matter to us?
ABC is truly shameful when Gayle King asks tough questions of top Biden officials.
Sullivan’s role in pushing the fake Russian collusion narrative against Trump was the topic that none of the morning network shows wanted to discuss with him. The latest developments from the Special Counsel John Durham investigation further suggest his involvement.
Colgate and CarMax brought the suggestion to ABC that Biden should appease Putin. These advertisers can be criticized for sponsoring this content.
Here is a transcript of Strahan’s questions to Sullivan during the February 21 interview:
7.08 am ET
MICHAEL STRAHAN – Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Adviser is joining us. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan for being here this morning. And we’re just gonna get right into it. Does President Biden believe that Putin will invade Ukraine? What has changed?
STRAHAN: Reports have suggested that President Biden and Putin might meet. Is this possible?
STRAHAN – What chance do you see for diplomacy in this moment?
STRAHAN: And even though we’re seeing all of these things that have been laid out ahead of time and they’re all coming to fruition, we all do hold out hope for an agreement. So if there is – if an agreement is likely, what would it look like? Is there any concessions the U.S. and NATO could offer Russia in order to prevent war?
STRAHAN But he stated that he won’t send any troops to Ukraine. So will these sanctions and support for Ukraine’s defense be enough should Russia attack?
STRAHAN – Mr. Jake Sullivan, we are so grateful for your presence this morning.
JAKE SULLIVAN : Thank you for being here.
STRAHAN: You’re welcome.