President Joe Biden on Sunday abruptly canceled plans to spend the Presidents Day holiday at home in Delaware amid the mounting crisis over what officials say is a planned Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The White House had announced shortly after 2:30 p.m. that Biden would leave DC around 5 p.m. to fly to Wilmington, raising the possibility that the commander in chief would update reporters on developments before boarding the Marine One chopper on the White House’s South Lawn.
But the trip was scrapped fewer than 90 minutes later, with a new plan calling for Biden to remain at the White House and no public events scheduled.
Earlier Sunday, Biden held a rare meeting with his National Security Council.
The session lasted a little more than two hours and included Vice President Kamala Harris phoning in to the meeting from Air Force Two while returning to the US from Munich, Germany, an administration source told the Washington Post.
Harris, speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, warned of dire consequences for Russia if it invades Ukraine, including “economic measures that will be swift, severe and united.”
Regarding Biden’s meeting with his NSC, the White House issued a vague, one-sentence statement afterward only saying officials discussed “the latest developments regarding Russia’s military buildup on the borders of Ukraine.”
But the White House also tweeted a photo of the sit-down in the Situation Room that showed attendees included Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, whose department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control would administer and enforce any sanctions imposed on Russia or key figures who “aid and abet” an invasion.
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