TRANSCRIPT: On-the-Record Press Gaggle by White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby [Excerpt]

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(The Whitehouse – – March 28, 2024)

… MR. KIRBY: First, I want to just take a moment to respond to the – both the nonsense and the propaganda that we’ve been seeing coming from the Kremlin and the Russian government over the past few days about the ISIS terrorist attack on the concert hall, which sadly took the lives of more than 140 people.

Contrary to public statements by President Putin, Federal Security Service Director Bortnikov, Russian government spokespeople, and others who have sought to deflect blame onto Ukraine, the United States, and everyone else who suits their political narratives, it’s abundantly clear that ISIS was solely responsible for the horrific terrorist attack in Moscow last week.

In fact, the United States tried to help prevent this terrorist attack, and the Kremlin knows this. In advance of the March 22nd attack, the United States government provided clear, detailed information to Russian authorities regarding the terrorist threat against large gatherings and concerts in Moscow.

On March the 7th, at 11:15 in the morning, Moscow time, following normal procedures and through established channels that have been employed many times previously, the United States government passed a warning in writing to Russian security services. In addition, we released a public advisory on the 8th of March, the next day, warning American citizens to avoid large gatherings and concerts in Moscow.

Now, we provided this information to Russia because the United States takes very seriously our “duty to warn.” We never want to see innocent lives lost in terrorist attacks. And this warning was one of many that the United States government has passed to Russia since September 2023 about various threats.

Now, while our embassy’s public advisory may have deterred the attackers from attacking on the 8th of March, our warning led — I’m sorry, our warning to the Russian government and the general public accurately identified the terrorist threat posed to concerts in Moscow. ISIS bears full responsibility for this attack.

The United States will continue to stay vigilant and alert governments around the world whenever we learn of terror plots, regardless of our relationship with them.

It reminds me of something my uncle used to say. He had a small farm and raised a few cattle in a place near Ocala, Florida. He used to say that the best manure salesmen often carried their samples in their mouths. Russian officials seem to be pretty good manure salesmen.

Speaking of Russia, Russia today vetoed in the U.N. Security Council the routine renewal of a U.N. panel that monitors sanctions on the DPRK. Russia has been violating these sanctions, of course, for some time, including through importing arms for use in its illegal war against Ukraine.

The reckless action today further undermines critical sanctions that the United Sta- — or the U.N. Security Council has imposed in response to North Korea’s multiple nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

As Secretary Blinken has said, deepening DPRK and Russian military cooperation should be of great concern to anyone interested in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. And that includes the PRC, China, which chose to abstain in their vote today.

The international community should resolutely uphold the global non-proliferation regime and support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence against Russia’s brutal aggression. …

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