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House Armed Services Chair Smith: Biden's Remark on Rocket Systems in Ukraine Was 'Off-Hand' – 'We'll Have to See What the Policy Is' #GEORGEnews

During an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said that President Joe Biden’s statement on refusing to send rocket systems to Ukraine that can reach into Russia “was an off-hand remark” and “we’ll have to see what the policy is. I’m not sure about the president’s specific remark in answer to that question this morning.”

Biden was asked, “Are you going to send long-range rocket systems to Ukraine?” He answered, “We’re not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia.”

After a clip of the exchange with Biden was played, Smith stated, “I think it was an off-hand remark. I think that the question can be interpreted in two ways. We certainly do not support Ukraine targeting Russia, but when you’re talking about artillery shells or missiles, Ukraine is right on the border with Russia, any artillery shell or missile that we send them could target Russia. Ones of longer range could obviously target it from further away, but the importance of the longer-range missiles is not to attack Russia. It’s that the Russians are attacking, as you know, all across Ukraine. Certainly, the fighting right now is focused in the east, to some degree in the south. But they have launched attacks as far away as Lviv, certainly in Kyiv, and elsewhere. So, if the Ukrainians have longer-range missiles, they can better defend against those attacks. So, we’ll have to see what the policy is. I’m not sure about the president’s specific remark in answer to that question this morning. It’s a more complicated question than that question implied.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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