There hasn’t been much to laugh about in the three weeks since Russia launched their genocidal invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked aggression against a peaceful neighbor has already resulted in thousands of deaths of innocent civilians. It’s a heinous campaign of blatant war crimes that history will record with disgust for Putin, as well as those in American media and politics who have aided and abetted him, such as Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Putin’s BFF Donald Trump.
However, on Tuesday Putin provided some unintended comic relief when his foreign ministry released a list of Americans who Russia is sanctioning “as retaliation for sweeping economic penalties from the Biden administration targeting Russian entities over the invasion of Ukraine.” Those sanctioned include…
- President Joe Biden
- Hunter Biden
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley
- White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan
- CIA Director Bill Burns
Notice who didn’t get sanctioned? Probably the only person who would have been hurt by the sanctions, Donald Trump. According to CBS News, those sanctioned “are prohibited from entering the country and any assets they hold there are frozen.” Consequently, this development was raised during the daily press briefing at the White House by CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang. And press secretary Jen Psaki handled it with her customary grace and a bit of snark:
Jiang: Sanctions were imposed today by Russia against yourself, President Biden, and other top U.S. officials. Do you have a response to that? And how will it impact any of you, if at all?
Psaki: I would first note that President Biden is a junior, so they may have sanctioned his dad, may he rest In peace. The second piece I would say, it won’t surprise many of you that none of us are planning tourist trips to Russia, none of us have bank accounts that we won’t be able to access. So we will forge ahead.
Psaki: President Biden is a jr. so they may have sanctioned his dad may he Rest In Peace.. It won’t surprise many of you that none of us are planning tourist trips to Russia, none of us have bank accounts we won’t be able to access so we will forge ahead.. pic.twitter.com/rs6s3m2xYM
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 15, 2022
In addition to the welcome injection of humor, Psaki is making a significant point about how impotent Putin’s sanctions are compared to those imposed on Russia by the U.S. and European allies. Russia’s largest banks, including the Central Bank of Russia, have been cut off from the SWIFT financial messaging system. And there has also been a ban on Russian oil and gas imports into the U.S. Numerous real estate properties, yachts, and other assets have been seized. And a broad international coalition has committed to cease doing business with Russia, shutting down their manufacturing on everything from cars to computers.
“Russia just sanctioned Joe Biden. While that is a terrible thing, in so many ways, perhaps it will now be explained why the Biden family received 3.5 million dollars from the very wealthy former Mayor of Moscow’s wife. During our Presidential Debate, “moderator” Chris Wallace, then of Fox, would not let me ask that question. He said it was inappropriate. Perhaps that’s why Biden has been so “slow on the draw” with Russia. This is a really bad conflict of interest that will, perhaps now, be fully and finally revealed!”
So in the wake of Russia’s pitiful sanctions, Trump thought it would be a good idea to malign America’s President and his son, Hunter. How patriotic of him. Never mind that Trump’s speculation that these sanctions might somehow “reveal” something about Hunter’s business affairs. Obviously they won’t. The allegations, which are false, have nothing whatsoever to do the sanctions.
Trump just wanted to wedge a totally unrelated obsession of his into the discussion. An obsession that has been repeatedly debunked. After years of babbling about this, there is still no evidence of any wrongdoing by Hunter Biden. Trump, on the other hand, is drowning in documented evidence of criminal activities, over which he simply can’t stop whining. No wonder he’s so cranky all the time.
UPDATE: Hillary Clinton had a pretty great response too:
I want to thank the Russian Academy for this Lifetime Achievement Award. https://t.co/4og9S3OCEp
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 15, 2022
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