White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

First Lady Jill Biden to make an appearance on the popular children’s show Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop.

DIGITAL ASSETS

A bill has been introduced in Congress which seeks to further the protection of crypto wallets from government agencies.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

House Republicans seek to sanction Russia in yet another attempt to quell tensions over Ukraine.

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

Biden is not sold yet that he sees de-escalation on behalf of Russia and warned that if Putin proceeds, this will be a “war of choice.” During his public address from the White House on the Ukraine situation, President Joe Biden reiterated that the US and NATO are “not a threat to Russia.”

Biden sent a strong message to citizens of Russia telling them, “You are not our enemy.” He said that he and his administration are constantly engaged in diplomacy. “We should give diplomacy every chance to succeed,” the President’s message was crystal clear. American soldiers won’t be on the ground in Ukraine, as there are other ways of assuring that Russia does not invade Ukraine.

Putin is “ultimately going to decide which path he chooses,” said Jen Psaki behind the White House podium following Biden’s address. “Defending democracy and liberty is never without cost,” she added. 

TWO GLASSES OF WINE? 

A new study by The Alcohol Health Alliance UK ( AHA) reveals that two glasses of wine can quickly get you over the recommended daily sugar limit.

ON THIS DAY

On February 16, 2005, The Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing the emission of gases that contributes to  global warming entered into force.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Today, the First Lady Jill Biden will film segments of an upcoming season of Sesame Street’s and Sesame Workshop’s social impact and military family initiatives in New York.

VP Kamala Harris will swear in Reta Jo Lewis to be President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and Cynthia Ann Telles to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Costa Rica.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) has introduced new legislation, the “Keep Your Coins Act,” to protect self-hosted crypto wallets from government agencies.

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$44,284.36

Ether (ETH):$3,157.43

SOL:$104.36

LUNA: $57.60

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Following a four-hour meeting with Germany’s Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, Putin said President Putin during a joint press conference that he doesn’t want a war in Europe.

“Do we want this or not? Of course, not. That is exactly why we put forward proposals for a process of negotiations,” said Putin.

Is this a signal that the Kremlin is ready to de-escalate?

“The intelligence we have seen today still not encouraging. We have more battalion tactical groups being brought closer to the border with Ukraine according to the intelligence that we are seeing. So mixed signals I think at the moment,” said UK’s PM Boris Johnson.

Secretary Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Blinken said that he is looking forward to Russia’s written response to the US and NATO papers shared with Moscow last month regarding specific items for discussion regarding European security. Blinken shared ongoing concern that Russia has the capacity to launch an invasion of Ukraine at any moment. What the US wants is “verifiable, credible, meaningful de-escalation.”

NSA Jake Sullivan spoke with Frédéric Bernard, Head of Cabinet of the President of the European Council about Russia’s continued build-up of military forces around Ukraine. They went over ongoing preparations to impose “severe economic consequences “if Russia chooses further military escalation.

House Republicans McCaul, Rogers, Turner, and Stefanik have introduced a bill to sanction Russia. “We are potentially just days away from what could be the largest invasion since World War 2, so we must impose consequences now on Putin, while also laying out the additional crippling penalties he would face after a further invasion of Ukraine,” said McCaul. This bill demonstrates our support for our Ukrainian partners while holding Putin and his inner circle accountable for their destabilizing aggression towards Ukraine,” explained Turner. “If Russian forces invade a sovereign country, the consequences should be swift and crippling.”

Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre have reached a settlement. Details of the payout remain “confidential” with a ballpark figure between 10 and 12 million. His representatives said he had no comment beyond what was said in the document filed to the court.

Despite his bromance with Emmanuel Macron, former president Trump is supporting in the French presidential election Macron’s opponent, Éric Zemmour. The two had a “long and friendly” conversation, according to Zemmour’s campaign. Voulez-vous un election advice? Trump told Zemmour that he must stay true to himself. 

All remaining COVID restrictions in Northern Ireland have been lifted.

Wales will offer all 5 to 11-year-olds COVID vaccinations. 

And that’s a wrap for this Wednesday morning, February 16, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...