White House Disputes Reports on Biden-Ukraine Call

Headline Roundup January 28th, 2022

President Joe Biden's Thursday phone call with Ukraine's president sparked conflicting reports and anonymous insights from across the spectrum. 

CNN cited an anonymous "senior Ukrainian official" who said the call "did not go well." The source reportedly said Biden described a Russian invasion as a certainty during the call and told Zelensky that the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv could be "sacked." CNN and Axios (Center bias) each reported that Biden and Zelesnky disagreed during the call about how imminent a Russian invasion actually was. The White House denied CNN's reporting, accusing anonymous sources of leaking falsehoods and instead saying that Biden told Zelensky there's "a distinct possibility" that Russia could invade Ukraine in February. Zelensky tweeted after the call that he and Biden "agreed on joint actions for the future." Tensions remain high between Russia and Ukraine; a Kremlin spokesperson said Thursday that the U.S. and NATO’s written responses to Russia’s security demands left "little ground for optimism."

Right-rated sources often highlighted how the White House disputed CNN's reporting. Some also focused on how a CNN reporter initially tweeted details of the disagreement between Biden and Zelensky before deleting the tweets amid pushback from the White House, and how other CNN reporters criticized the anonymous source that CNN used. Aside from CNN and Axios, reports from left-rated and center-rated sources typically focused on the White House's description of the phone call.

From the Center

US President Joe Biden has warned there is a "distinct possibility" Russia might invade Ukraine next month, the White House says.

Russia meanwhile says it sees "little ground for optimism" in resolving the crisis after the US rejected Russia's main demands.

The build-up of tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders in recent weeks has stoked fears of an invasion.

Russia denies it is planning an attack.

The US president made the comments in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.

"President Biden said that...

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From the Left

A call between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday "did not go well," a senior Ukrainian official told CNN, amid disagreements over the "risk levels" of a Russian attack.

The White House, however, disputed the official's account, warning that anonymous sources were "leaking falsehoods." They did state that Biden warned Zelensky an imminent invasion is a "distinct possibility."

On the call, which the Ukrainian official described as "long and frank," Biden warned his Ukrainian counterpart that a Russian attack may be imminent, saying that an invasion was now...

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From the Right

The White House National Security Council is disputing a ''completely false'' claim from a Ukrainian official to CNN that President Joe Biden has warned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of the inevitability of a Russian invasion.

After an official asserted that Biden warned of Kyiv being potentially ''sacked'' and said Ukraine should ''prepare for impact'' once the ground freezes, White House NSC spokeswoman Emily Horne tweeted a pointed objection to the readout of the call between leaders.

''This is not true,'' Horne tweeted. ''President Biden said that there is a distinct possibility that the...

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