Foreign leaders “smell weakness” with President Joe Biden in charge, says former ambassador to Germany under Trump, Ric Grenell, adding that the situation in Ukraine is a “disaster” with only “terrible and bad choices” to be made.
“We don’t have any good choices. But the reality is that the leaders of Russia and China and a whole bunch of other places smell weakness,” said Grenell.
The United States is beginning to evacuate nonessential personnel from Ukraine, Grenell believes it shows that there is no plan in place for what will happen if Russia invades Ukraine or what may happen if Americans are left behind enemy lines, as was the case in Afghanistan.
“We don’t have a handle on the numbers,” said Grenell before adding that the U.S. does not have an ambassador in Ukraine, leaving lower-level workers to coordinate with Washington.
“I can tell you from experience. I’d been at the State Department for 11 years. The individuals in charge of our embassy in Ukraine right now are not making decisions on their own,” he said.
“They’re going back and organizing with the assistant secretary of state for Europe, Karen Donfried, who used to work for the German Marshall Fund, where the Germans paid part of her salary. So, this is a disaster situation all over.”
Grenell also claimed that Germany’s new Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has already snubbed Biden.
“We’re seeing reports that the French and the Germans are going to organize with the Russians and the Ukrainians on their own. This is a disaster. The Americans have said we’re going to follow the Europeans.
“We’re not going to have an America first policy. We’re going to have a European policy,” said Grenell.
Germany insists that it wants no lethal aid to be sent to Ukraine, telling Estonia, a NATO state, that it cannot supply weapons to Ukraine.
“Where is American leadership?” asked Grenell, while adding that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is “totally dismissed on the world stage, and so is Joe Biden.”
Grenell urged Biden to threaten to put sanctions on the Nord Stream II pipeline and insist that all NATO states pay their share for defense, “or we’re not going to do anything.”
“You’ve got to have consequences for bad behavior, and I would arm the Ukrainians, and I would make it clear that we’re not happy to be in this situation and that [Vladimir] Putin is going to face severe economic consequences immediately, including on the pipeline,” he said.