A viral video clip appears to show Vice President Kamala Harris avoiding a question about how long Americans “should be bracing for this historic inflation and some unprecedented gas prices.”
The clip comes from a joint news conference Harris conducted with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and it has been deceptively edited.
In response to the reporter’s question, the clip shows Harris take a long pause and then say: “Sure. In terms of the discussions that the President Iohannis and I had, they ranged in subject, including the issue of the Black Sea, and I’ll let him explain in more detail as he would like. But we are, again, fully aware and apprised because we are in constant communication with the president, with his administration here about the concerns that they have about the entire region and, frankly, the vulnerability. All you have to do is look at the map.”
What we don’t see in the video clip is that the journalist asked two questions–one first to Iohannis about the threat Russia presents to Romania in the Black Sea: “But may I ask, Mr. President, your country and many of your neighbors are enduring enormous cost aiding Ukrainian refugees, and you also face a really dire threat in the Black Sea. And I was just wondering if — what specifically you’ve asked the vice president for. Particularly, do you need more U.S. troops here? Do you need any specific more material defense aid?”
The pause that came before Harris answered the question was due to the fact that the first question was addressed to Iohannis, while the second question was addressed to Harris.
Iohannis addressed the first part of the question after Harris: “Russia started its attack on Ukraine from the south, from the Black Sea area. This is a scenario we have been warning about for many years now. On the other hand, Romania has approximately 650 kilometers of land border with Ukraine. It’s the longest land border of all allies neighboring with Ukraine. So, yes, we are concerned. We are concerned about the eastern flank. And this is why we are working on making the eastern flank stronger.”
While Harris did not directly answer the question about a timeframe for inflation, she did eventually address the second question about historic inflation and gas prices: “So we are committed in everything we are doing. And, yes, then the President did say in the State of the Union, there is a price to pay for democracy. Got to stand with your friends. And as everybody knows, even in your personal life, being loyal to those friendships based on common principles and values, sometimes it’s difficult. Often, it ain’t easy. But that’s what the friendship is about, based on shared values. So that’s what we’re doing.”
(A complete transcript of the press briefing can be found here.)