9:17 A.M. EDT
Q Mr. President, how high is the threat of a Russian invasion right now?
THE PRESIDENT: It’s very high.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s very — because they have not — they have not moved any of their troops out. They’ve moved more troops in, number one. Number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false-flag operation to have an excuse to go in. Every indication we have is they’re prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine — number one.
Number two, I’ve been waiting for a response from Putin for my letter that — my response to him. It’s come to that Moscow embassy. They’re faxing it here. Not faxing it, they’re sending it here. I have not read it yet. I cannot comment on it.
Q Have you been briefed on it in any way?
THE PRESIDENT: No- —
Q Do you think he’s going to go through with this, sir? Is your sense that this is going to happen now?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Not —
THE PRESIDENT: I — my sense is this will happen within the next several days.
Q How many days are we talking?
Q Is there any diplomatic path still available, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, there is. There’s a clear diplomatic path. That’s why I asked Senator — Senator — (laughs) — Secretary Blinken to go to the United Nations and make his statement today. He’ll lay out what that path is. I’ve laid out a path to Putin as well on, I think, Sunday. And so, there is a path. There is a way through this, but by diplomacy.
Q Will you speak to Putin again?
Q Are you going to call Putin?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not calling Putin. I have no plans to call Putin right now. Thank you.
9:18 A.M. EST