Carney Brushes Off Russian Threat of Nuclear Armageddon

'People say crazy things on TV all the time'

• March 17, 2014 2:06 pm


Pressed by ABC News' Jonathan Karl to comment on a threat made last night on state TV that Russia is still "the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dismissively said, "people say crazy things on TV all the time."

See below for the full exchange:

JON KARL: And let me ask you just something on — that was on Russian television, state-controlled television, the main state-controlled channel. Dmitry Kiselev, prominent Russian television anchor, posed in front of a mushroom cloud and warned that Russia's the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S. into radioactive dust.

I mention this because it's state-controlled Russian television which, as we know, doesn't, you know, generally broadcast stuff that is not, you know, signed off by the government of Russia. What is your sense when you hear something like that?

MR. CARNEY: I mean, that people say crazy things on TV all the time.

KARL: Yeah, but this is Russian state-controlled TV. This — I take your point entirely, but — (laughter) — this is, you know, state-controlled —

MR. CARNEY: We're focused on the actions of the Russian government. We're focused on the support we're providing to the Ukrainian government. We're focused on marshalling a strategy with our partners around the world, especially in Europe, for how to deal with this challenge posed by Russia.

And we are making sure that Russia is incurring cost for the provocations they — it has engaged in and the — and the actions that it's taken. You know, that's what we're focused on right now. And those costs are real. And they will increase if Russia continues down this path.

Published under: Jay Carney, Russia, White House