WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s top spokesperson became emotional Friday after he was asked whether he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin to be a “rational actor.”
“It’s hard to look at what he’s doing in Ukraine, what his forces are doing in Ukraine and think that any ethical, moral individual could justify that,” press secretary John Kirby began before appearing to become choked up and pausing for several seconds.
“It’s difficult to look at some of the images and imagine that any well-thinking, serious, mature leader would do that. So I can’t talk to his psychology. But I think we can all speak to his depravity,” Kirby added.
Kirby later apologized for becoming emotional, saying “I don’t want to make this about me.”
He then called Putin’s reasons for the invasion in Ukraine “BS.”
“It’s hard to square [Putin’s] … BS that this is about Nazism in Ukraine, and it’s about protecting Russians in Ukraine, and it’s about defending Russian national interests, when none of them, none of them were threatened by Ukraine,” said Kirby, pounding on the lectern for emphasis.
Kirby also listed several “unconscionable” actions by Russian troops, including the reports of civilians being “shot in the back of the head, hands tied behind their backs. Women, pregnant women being killed, hospitals being bombed. I mean, it’s just unconscionable.”