Biden "genocide" comment concerning to some US officials - NBC
One source close to the White House has said that the comments are being intentionally done by the US President.
According to top administration sources, President Joe Biden's assertion this week that Russia is conducting "genocide" in Ukraine has caused worries among certain officials in his own department and has so far not been supported by material gathered by US intelligence agencies.
Two officials at the State Department have said that Biden's statements make it difficult for the agency to do its job.
One official stated that “Genocide includes a goal of destroying an ethnic group or nation and, so far, that is not what we are seeing."
What caught them most off-guard, is Biden's use of the word during a speech in Iowa on inflation.
Although Americans have been feeling the heat of the soaring gas prices before anything happened on February 24, Biden redirected attention away from his incompetence to attributing the gas price increase to the "dictator" Putin, accusing him of committing a "genocide half a world away."
Read more: Putin dismisses killings in Ukraine's Bucha as 'fake'
In an interview this week, even French President Emmanuel Macron stated that such verbal attacks would not help further peace in Ukraine.
The president's proclamation of genocide in Ukraine was the third time in recent weeks that he has attempted to detach what he claims are his personal beliefs from official US policy. He recently indicated Russia was committing war crimes in Ukraine a week before the US government completed any legal procedures into the matter.
Biden also stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be removed from office, leading his aides to hustle to clarify that this was his "personal" view and not the US policy.
A source close to the White House has divulged that Biden's remarks are intentional.
Meanwhile, some officials believe Biden's comments are increasing pressure on independent legal processes. If the US President says Russia is committing war crimes, his government officials are indirectly being pressured to reach the same conclusion.
This is not an easy task, particularly because genocide is a distinct crime specified by international law, and establishing it involves demonstrating a high level of intent to commit genocide.
According to Tara Sepehri Far of Human Rights Watch, the organization has found no evidence indicating genocide has been committed by Russia.
She stated that “It’s extremely important for the US to lead on establishing the authoritative truth," adding that “You don’t want to use the word without being able to fully back it and deploy it because otherwise there’s a danger of it not being taken seriously.”