Biden contradicts his administration's messaging on Russia and snaps at reporter for 'playing a game'

Joe Biden suggested Thursday that sanctions were not meant to deter the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling reporters now that "sanctions never deter."

"Sir, deterrence didn’t work. What makes you think Vladimir Putin will alter course based on the action you’ve taken today," Biden was asked during a press conference at a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium.

"Let's get something straight," Biden responded. "You remember, if you covered me from the very beginning, I did not say that in fact the sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter."

"The maintenance of sanctions, increasing the pain and the demonstration [is] why I asked for this NATO meeting today, is to be sure that after a month, we will sustain what we're doing, not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year," Biden said.

Biden said the "single most important thing is for us to stay unified" and for the world to "continue to focus on what a brute [Putin] is, and all the innocent people's lives are being lost and ruined."

"We have to stay fully, totally thoroughly united," he added.

Speaking with Fox News Digital just minutes after Biden's NATO speech, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said, "Of course sanctions deter."

"But they must be structured to be impactful in order to work," he added, saying Biden should have taken tougher action against Putin prior to his invasion of Ukraine.

Biden's remarks come after weeks of messaging from key Biden administration officials – including Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken – who claimed the sanctions placed on Russia were meant to deter the actions of Putin.

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