Facebook Pixel

Biden got into a scandal with sensitive documents, while Scholz is still reluctant to sent tanks to Ukraine

Biden’s sensitive documents and Scholz’s reluctance: a digest of Western media of January 9–13

Biden’s sensitive documents and Scholz’s reluctance: a digest of Western media of January 9–13

Sensitive documents were found in Joe Biden’s house and office; the Pentagon called on Russia to end the war in Ukraine instead of shuffling generals; and Olaf Scholz is unwilling to provide Kyiv with modern tanks before the U.S. does.

@material: https://thepage.ua/ua/politics/chomu-kriza-u-kongresi-ssha-mozhe-skorotiti-dopomogu-ukrayini

Meanwhile, support for leaving the EU has fallen significantly across the bloc in the wake of Brexit, Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.

The Page offers a digest of Western mass media at the end of the January 9–13 business week.


Biden got into trouble: sensitive documents were found at the president’s place, just like at Trump’s

Joe Biden got into a scandal akin to that around Donald Trump. Photo: Getty Images

Joe Biden got into a scandal akin to that around Donald Trump. Photo: Getty Images

President Joe Biden suddenly confronted a ballooning problem that threatens to hamstring his hopes to seize the momentum, The Washington Post writes.

On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he was appointing a special counsel to investigate the classified documents found in Biden’s place. This undermines the criticism of former president Donald Trump for his own handling of sensitive material.

Biden last fall was shown a photo of top secret documents laid out on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and said he didn’t understand how anyone "could be that irresponsible."

However, two months after that, on November 2, lawyers discovered a small batch of classified documents in one of Biden’s offices in Washington, a discovery that Biden said "surprised" him. On Thursday, Biden and his lawyers disclosed that the second batch of classified documents was discovered in the president’s home in Wilmington.

Thursday morning when Biden held an event to report good economic news, reporters shouted questions about why documents were found in his garage next to his 1967 Corvette Stingray.

Quote"My Corvette is in a locked garage, okay? So, it’s not like they’re sitting out in the street," Biden responded. "But people know I take classified documents and classified material seriously. I also said we’re cooperating fully and completely with the Justice Department’s review."

The appointment of a special counsel, Robert Hur, to scrutinize Biden creates a seeming equivalence to Trump’s case, which is also investigated by special counsel Jack Smith. If Biden faces fewer consequences, Republicans are likely to complain of a double standard.

Biden’s aides have gone to great lengths to point out how their behavior differed from Trump’s.

The former president apparently knew that he was taking sensitive documents and declined to give them back, while Biden says he did not even realize he had any classified papers and turned them over as soon as they were discovered.

Ex-president Donald Trump in a post to his Truth Social network called on Garland to end Smith’s investigation of his activities and "appoint a special counsel to investigate Joe Biden who hates Biden as much as Jack Smith hates me."

Donald Trump called to appoint a special counsel who hates the president. Photo: Getty Images

Donald Trump called to appoint a special counsel who hates the president. Photo: Getty Images

The ultimate political fallout for Biden could depend in part on the nature of the papers found at his home and office. As reported earlier, the documents at Trump’s residence included highly sensitive material on China and Iran.

The Pentagon called on Russia to end the war instead of shuffling generals

The Pentagon urged Moscow to end the war instead turning to new generals to oversee the nearly year-long invasion of Ukraine Reuters report.

Russia on January 11 appointed Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov to oversee the military campaign in Ukraine. Only last October, Russia had put Sergey Surovikin in that position.

Quote"It likely does reflect some of the systemic challenges that the Russian military has faced since the beginning of this invasion," Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing.
General Patrick Ryder: Russia must stop the war. Photo: Wikipedia

General Patrick Ryder: Russia must stop the war. Photo: Wikipedia

He recalled that the U.S. has already spoken about some of those things, in particular about logistics problems, command and control problems, sustainment problems, morale, and the failure to achieve their strategic objectives in the war in Ukraine.

Scholz won’t give Ukraine modern tanks before Biden

Olaf Scholz isn’t willing to deliver modern tanks to Kyiv before Joe Biden does so. Photo: Getty Images

Olaf Scholz isn’t willing to deliver modern tanks to Kyiv before Joe Biden does so. Photo: Getty Images

Despite the announced Britain’s intent to deliver tanks to Ukraine, German chancellor Olaf Scholz will unlikely overcome his reluctance to do it without taking his lead from Washington, Politico reports.

Scholz’s spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said Wednesday that plans by London to deliver British-made Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine won’t change the position of the German government, which has so far rejected calls for Berlin to hand German Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

Warsaw has already proposed that the German-made Leopards could be delivered via a broader alliance of European countries.

Quote"A company of Leopard tanks for Ukraine will be transferred as part of international coalition building. Such a decision is already [taken] in Poland," Polish President Andrzej Duda said in a tweet.

The big obstacle to these transfers is that Berlin needs to give the green light for re-export of German-made weapons. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, two German officials said that Scholz’s position depended heavily on U.S. President Joe Biden.

Nonetheless, the British plans, which are expected to be officially announced at a meeting at the Ramstein military base in Germany on January 20, will probably ramp up the pressure on Scholz as the U.K. would be the first country to supply Ukraine’s military with modern Western-made battle tanks.

In providing weapons to Ukraine, Scholz takes the lead from the U.S. Photo: Getty Images

In providing weapons to Ukraine, Scholz takes the lead from the U.S. Photo: Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is convinced that Germany would sooner or later agree to send Leopards:

Quote"It’s always a similar pattern: First they say ‘no,’ then they fiercely defend their decision, only to say ‘yes’ in the end. We are still trying to understand why the German government is doing this to itself."

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the chair of the German parliament’s defense committee, also urged Scholz to follow the British plans:

Quote"Germany must finally get strategically ahead of the curve and should not always only react when the situation in Ukraine deteriorates."

The U.S. itself does not look set to send battle tanks in the immediate future.

Quote"It’s constantly an item of discussion but not near a decision," said one person familiar with internal deliberations who asked for anonymity.

Support for leaving the EU has fallen in European countries

The consequences of Brexit reduced the willingness of European countries to leave the EU. Photo: Pixabay

The consequences of Brexit reduced the willingness of European countries to leave the EU. Photo: Pixabay

Support for leaving the EU has dropped significantly in member states across the bloc in the wake of the U.K.’s Brexit referendum, The Guardian reports.

The European Social Survey (ESS), conducted in 30 European nations every two years since 2001, found respondents were less likely to vote leave in every EU member state.

The largest decline in leave support was in Finland: from 28.6% in 2016-2017 to 15.4% in 2020-2022.

Similarly stark falls between 2016 and 2022 were also recorded in the following countries:

  • The Netherlands (23% versus 13.5%);
  • Portugal (15.7% versus 6.6%);
  • Austria (26% versus 16.1%);
  • France (24.3% versus 16%).

Smaller but still statistically significant falls were recorded in the following countries:

  • Hungary (16% versus 10.2%);
  • Spain (9.3% versus 4.7%);
  • Sweden (23.9% versus 19.3%);
  • Germany (13.6% versus 11%).

The period covers Britain’s long and fraught negotiations to leave the EU, but also the country’s ensuing political turmoil — five prime ministers in six years — and its current social and economic woes. On the continent, Brexit is believed to be at least one reason for this.

Moreover, experts suggest that the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have prompted many EU citizens to view membership more favorably, while many anti-EU parties, including in France and Italy, decided to abandon Frexit or Italexit policies in favor of reforming the EU from within.

Mathieu Gallard, research director of the leading French polling firm Ipsos, said the ESS numbers reflected a "veritable collapse" in support for leaving the EU in several countries.

The ESS survey also found that respondents’ emotional attachment to Europe had increased between 2016 and 2022 in most member states.

Thank 🎉
Comments
All News