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NBC News Appears To Catch Biden As He Claims He Told Putin About U.S. Citizens In Ukraine

NBC News host Lester Holt appeared to catch President Joe Biden during an interview that aired on Thursday about what Biden claims that he told Russian President Vladimir Putin about U.S. citizens in Ukraine.

Biden made the remarks as approximately 100,000 Russian soldiers have amassed near Ukraine’s border in recent weeks, leading many officials to warn that Russia is likely to launch an invasion into the country.

Biden made the remarks during the following exchange with Holt:

BIDEN: I’m hoping that if, in fact, he’s foolish enough to go in, he’s smart enough not to, in fact, do anything that would negatively impact on American citizens.

HOLT: Have you ever told him that?

BIDEN: Yes.

HOLT: You’ve told him that Americans will be a line that they can’t cross?

BIDEN: I didn’t have to tell him that, he, I’ve spoken about that, he knows that.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who served in the U.S. Army, urged U.S. citizens on Thursday to leave Ukraine “now,” saying, “You should not expect that the American military is going to be able to fly aircraft into Ukraine to help you evacuate after a potential invasion. For the sake of safety, I would urge all Americans in Ukraine to leave today.”

“The sad fact is that Russia has troops encircling Ukraine and they’re exposed on almost every front,” Cotton said. “But my estimate, based on the late troop movements into Belarus, is that Vladimir Putin decided that he wanted to get to the capital sooner rather than later.”

“I think those military drills [that Russia is holding near the Ukrainian border] are nothing but a cover for a likely invasion,” Cotton added. “I think they tell us, since they’re starting so soon, that we could be down to a matter of days, not weeks.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT: I’m hoping that if, in fact, he’s foolish enough to go in, he’s smart enough not to, in fact, do anything that would negatively impact on American citizens.

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS HOST: Have you ever told him that?

BIDEN: Yes.

HOLT: You’ve told him that Americans will be a line that they can’t cross?

BIDEN: I didn’t have to tell him that, he, I’ve spoken about that, he knows that. And, you know, it’s a little bit, uh, look, that’s, what I’ve asked is, American citizens should leave, should leave now. We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation. And things could go crazy quickly.

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