During a press conference at NATO headquarters, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin claimed there were more Russian troops now at the border with Ukraine — not fewer, as Russia has claimed — and responded to a reporter asking for evidence.
Austin said, “The Russians say that they are withdrawing some of these forces now that exercises are complete, but we don’t see that. Quite the contrary — we see them add to the more than 150,000 troops that they have already arrayed on that border, even in the last couple of days.”
Bettina Klein from German National Public Radio asked, “I understand you have the evidence that there’s more troop building, rather than troop withdrawal in Russia. At the same time, I hear some skepticism, certainly of the German public debate. How can we trust this? How can we trust American intelligence? What do you suggest to build more public trust? And would you consider at one point to make more evidence you have publicly available?”
Austin responded that the U.S. has “done a very, very extensive job of” being “very transparent… with our allies and partners” and would continue to be. But this is another example of reporters pressing Biden administration representatives about the reliability of its suspiciously war-mongering narrative about the Russians’ purportedly threatened invasion of Ukraine.