President Joe Biden said on Thursday evening that Vladimir Putin was not joking about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and said the risk of of Armageddon was the highest it had been since the Cuban missile crisis.
He delivered his doomsday warning at a fundraising event for Democrats at the New York home of James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert.
It comes amid growing fears that Putin is backed into a corner and could use tactical nuclear weapons to push back advancing Ukrainian forces.
‘We’ve got a guy I know fairly well,’ said Biden said at the reception for the reception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
‘He’s 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.’
Don’t be fooled by the idea that smaller, tactical weapons were not a major threat to the world, he continued at the reception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
‘I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily [use] a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon,’ he said.
President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was ‘not joking’ about using tactical nuclear weapons and warned that the world faced ‘Armageddon’ if he did
Ukrainian officials say Russia has stepped up its attacks on civilian targets. Here Firefighters work on rescue efforts after Russian missiles devastate apartments in Zaporizhzhia
With Vladimir Putin facing humiliation in Ukraine, analysts and world leaders increasingly fear that he could turn to nuclear weapons to turn the tide on the battlefield
Putin controls the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons
Ukrainian forces have made significant gains as they pushed back Russian forces in recent weeks.
For the first time, Putin apparently faces concern at home that the war is coming unstuck.
A string of leaders have warned that a cornered Putin could unleash weapons of mass destruction, as much to retain a grip on power at home as change the tide of the war.
‘First time since the Cuban missile crisis, we have the threat of a nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path they are going,’ said Biden.
So far officials say they have not seen a change in Russia’s nuclear posture. But it still leaves them wondering how to nudge Putin towards giving up and going home.
Biden said: ‘We are trying to figure out, what is Putin’s off ramp? Where does he find a way out?
‘Where does he find himself where he does not only lose face but significant power?’
Before Biden unleashed his doomsday scenario, the focus had been on the choice of location for the event – in the heart of a family known for its alliance with the Republican Party.
The president was able to tailor one of his favorite lines to poke a little fun at the family.
‘This is not your father’s Republican Party,’ said Biden, as he described how Trump’s influence had triggered an assault on institutions from the Supreme Court to the White House.
Earlier Biden toured IBM’s factory in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he came face to face with a quantum computer. It is part of a push to deliver a positive economic message
However, James Murdoch, 49, was also a top donor to Biden’s 2020 effort – breaking with his powerful father, whose Fox network provided Donald Trump with a powerful platform.
James Murdoch resigned from the board of News Corp that year. His wife Kathryn is an environmental activist who has donated heavily to Democrat Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
The couple founded the Quadrivium foundation, which has given millions to left-leaning organizations in recent years.
Earlier in the day, he toured IBM’s plant in upstate New York to highlight the corporation’s decision to invest $20 billion across in Hudson Valley region.
It also meant he could lend a hand to Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Pat Ryan, who face tough reelection battles.
President Joe Biden attended a fundraiser at the home of James and Kathryn Murdoch, as Democrats try to cling to or expand their 50 vote Senate majority
Then it was on to a fundraiser at the New Jersey governor’s mansion. The event for 15 guests was expected to raise $1 million for the Democratic National Committee, according to an official.
Singer and New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi was in the select audience at Gov Phil Murphy’s home to hear Biden once again rail against Trumpist forces in the Republican Party.
‘Not all Republicans are MAGA Republicans,’ he said, but a ‘good 35% are Trumpites.’
His hobnobbing attracted ridicule for Republicans, who portrayed him as out of touch with voters struggling to cope with rising prices.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said: ‘Biden to meet with the only people who approve of his agenda: wealthy Democrat elites.
‘Biden’s inability to campaign outside of the Acela corridor proves how out of touch he is with Americans facing rising prices, skyrocketing crime, and an open border.
‘Democrats are trying to hide from Biden yet voters know they rubberstamped Biden’s disastrous agenda.’
Biden kept the Murdoch event, first reported in radaronline, on his schedule during a busy week – he flew to Puerto Rico Monday and Florida Wednesday to inspect hurricane recovery efforts.
The president has picked up his fundraising pace in recent weeks, helping haul in $107 for the DNC his year, ‘the most at this point in any year,’ an official told Reuters.
It comes at a critical time for Senate Democrats, who are hoping to cling to their 50-seat majority – or even expand it to avoid some of the party squabbles of the last year or even find enough support to change rules to disallow a filibuster for a law codifying the right to an abortion.
After making summer gains, there has been tightening in races in Pennsylvania and Ohio and Wisconsin where Republicans have been on the defensive.
Dr. Mehmet Oz has been closing the gap with Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, whose negatives jumped in a new survey following attacks on his positions on crime.
Murdoch also donated to Biden’s 2020 campaign
James (r) resigned from the board of Newscorp. His older brother Lachlan is co-chairman of News Corp
Drum major: Biden has raised millions for Democrats. He holds marching band baton at an August event in suburban Maryland, where also has been holding fundraising events
James Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and his wife Kathryn Hufschmid attend the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 8, 2022
Republicans have been blasting Democrat Mandela Barnes on the airwaves, allowing Republican Sen. Ron Johnson to maintain a narrow polling lead. In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly has been gaining on Republican Blake Masters.
The Georgia Senate race was rocked Tuesday night be new allegations that Republican Herschel Walker paid for a woman’s abortion despite backing legislation to outlaw the practice at 15 weeks.
The former football star took to ‘Hannity’ to deny the claim following a Daily Beast report that cites a $575 receipt for the procedure, a $700 check signed by Walker dated five days after the procedure, and a get well card he signed. Walker denied paying for an abortion, calling it a ‘flat-out lie,’ and said he sends money and cards to lots of people.
As a candidate he has called abortion ‘a woman killing her baby.’
In another Senate race, in Nevada, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto trails Republican Adam Laxalt by 2 points in the Real Clear Politics polling average.
Last month, Walker endorsed Senator Lindsay Graham’s proposed nationwide ban on abortions after 15 weeks, before most women know that they are pregnant
According to The Daily Beast, the woman was also able to show proof that she had a romantic relationship with Walker
The Murdoch funder is for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to Reuters. The president plans to attend an earlier event at the home of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
James Murdoch put $100 million in his nonprofit Quadrivium foundation, which made substantial donations during the 2020 election cycle. They also gave millions to groups supporting Biden, opposing Donald Trump, and fighting extremism.
Murdoch told the Financial Times days after the Capitol attack that has featured in Biden’s speeches: ‘The damage is profound.’
‘The sacking of the Capitol is proof positive that what we thought was dangerous is indeed very, very much so. Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years,’ he said.