Kamala Harris’ tweet incorrectly implied that Ukraine is part of NATO
A now-deleted tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris stated on Tuesday that the US is supporting Ukraine against invading Russian forces “in defense of the NATO alliance” — falsely suggesting that Ukraine is a member of the 30-nation bloc.
“While in Poland, I met with American and Polish military personnel and thanked them for standing with our NATO allies for freedom, peace and security,” read the tweet from @KamalaHarris, which appeared in a Screenshot captured by the WayBack machine Internet Archive. “The United States stands firm with the Ukrainian people in defense of the NATO alliance.”
The tweet was originally posted around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. A second, almost identical tweet was posted almost an hour later at around 9:20 p.m.
“While in Poland, I met with American and Polish military personnel and thanked them for standing with our NATO allies for freedom, peace and security,” the new tweet reads read. “The United States stands firmly on the side of the Ukrainian people and defends the NATO alliance.”
The only difference between the two posts is the added word “and” in the second sentence, which clarifies that the US supports Ukraine and the NATO alliance.
The language of both posts was taken from remarks made by the vice president during the winter session of the Democratic National Committee over the weekend.
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“Russia’s invasion not only threatens Ukraine’s democracy, it threatens democracy and security across Europe,” Harris said at the time. “And by extension, if democracy is threatened anywhere, it threatens all of us. And the ocean that separates us will not leave us untouched by this aggression.
“So I will say what I know we all say, and I will say again and again: The United States stands firm with the people of Ukraine in defense of the NATO alliance.”
The White House later added the word “and” in parentheses to the transcript to indicate that the vice president intended to say the word but accidentally left it out.
A spokesman for the vice president’s office told Fox News Wednesday that the @KamalaHarris account is controlled by the Democratic National Committee. The DNC later told the outlet that the word “was omitted by mistake, so we took it out and reported it with the correct annotations.”
Before the post was removed, many on social media called out the bug, with at least one calling it “stupid” and “dangerous.”
“This is the Vice President of the United States, sent [to] defuse what World War III could be – including nuclear weapons – and she doesn’t know the most basic facts about the situation.” tweeted former Navy SEAL Derrick Van Orden “It’s as dangerous as it is stupid.”
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, although Russia used Kiev’s alleged ambition to join the alliance as justification for its brutal invasion, which began on February 24.
This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to concede defeat in his bid to join the alliance, saying: “It is clear that Ukraine is not a member of NATO; we understand that. We’ve heard about what appears to be an open door for years, but we’ve also heard that we won’t go in there, and those are truths and need to be acknowledged.”
However, some observers believe Moscow will use the first statement from the Harris account as confirmation of their worst suspicions.
“The Russians already believe that Ukraine already has a foothold in NATO,” Rebekah Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer, told Fox News. “For this reason [Russian President Vladimir] Putin launched an attack on Ukraine at this time. Russia sees NATO and the US as its biggest security threat because they are a military alliance that has expanded its membership to include former Soviet states.”
Before Putin’s invasion, the US and NATO repeatedly rejected his demands to prevent Ukraine from ever joining the alliance, citing their policy of welcoming any nation that wants to join and meets certain criteria.