Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said that considering the buildup of Russian military presence in Ukraine, "the world" does not see President Joe Biden, as a strong leader.
"I don't think Russia is taking the United States' sanctions seriously, in light of the continued military buildup in Ukraine," Ernst said. "But all you have to do is look at the leadership right now in the White House," she continued.
"This is a president who cannot stand up to those adversaries that we have around the globe. This is a president who botched the withdrawal coming out of Afghanistan, leaving behind Americans and allies in Afghanistan — threw our friends and neighbors under the bus. So the world is looking at the United States, including Putin, as weak in leadership when it comes to safeguarding our friends and allies."
Biden told reporters during his New Year's Eve lunch that he "made it clear to President Putin that we will have severe sanctions, we will increase our presence in Europe, with NATO allies" if Russia invades Ukraine.
On the day before Biden's New Year's Eve lunch, both Biden and Putin spoke, at Putin's request, for 50 minutes, on "security guarantees" that Russia is seeking from the US.
"He laid out some of his concerns about NATO and the United States and Europe, we laid out ours," Biden stated. "I made it clear that they only could work if in fact he deescalated, not escalated."