The White House made changes to the official transcript of the speech Vice President Kamala Harris gave last week in Poland, where she errantly referred to Ukraine as a member of the North American Treaty Organization.
“The United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine in defense of the NATO alliance,” Harris said at the time, according to the televised airing of the event.
*VIDEO: VP KAMALA HARRIS REMARKS ON UKRAINE:— NewsWire (@NewsWire_US) March 12, 2022
“The United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people in defense of the NATO alliance”
There’s just one problem: Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO.
Which is a pretty big blunder for at least two reasons: first, Ukraine’s potential inclusion in NATO is part of what prompted Putin’s invasion of the country in the first place. To misunderstand Ukraine’s relationship with NATO is to not understand one of the fundamental causes of the conflict itself. Additionally, were Ukraine a member of NATO, then an attack by Russia on its borders would have triggered Article 5 of the NATO treaty and engaged all member countries - including the U.S. - in a war.
Given that Harris was recently tapped by the Biden administration to head up the White House’s official response to the Russian invasion, touring Europe and holding press conferences as the situation unfolds, it assumes she knows at least the basics of the crisis she's been tasked with addressing.
But, one can't wish for miracles.
To correct the blunder, it seems the White House quietly corrected the mistake in the official transcript of the speech, which many news outlets use to quote administration officials.
“I will say over and over again: The United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people [and] in defense of the NATO alliance,” the transcript reads.
I suppose that's one way to cover for the fact that your second-in-command is clearly in over her head: just change her words and pretend that she isn't.
After all, we're pretty sure Biden didn't even hear the flub - or, even if he did, he's forgotten.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)