U.S. President Joe Biden walks after arriving on Marine One from a trip to Ohio at the White House in Washington, February 17, 2022.
Leah Millis | Reuters
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden abruptly canceled plans on Sunday to go to his home in Delaware for the holiday following a four-hour meeting of his national security team to discuss the Russian threat to Ukraine.
The trip home was a last-minute addition to the president’s schedule, announced on Sunday afternoon at 2:41 p.m. A little over an hour later, however, it was canceled.
It’s unusual for a U.S. president’s travel plans to change this quickly, especially plans that involve leaving Washington.
According to the White House, the president “had a family-related issue that was going to take him to Wilmington, DE, tonight but he will no longer be going and will remain in Washington, DC tonight.”
Biden’s schedule and his interaction with his national security team have taken on a new sense of urgency this weekend after the president said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had decided to carry out an attack on Ukraine “in the coming days.”
“We have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning and intend to attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days,” Biden said Friday in a formal address to the nation, his second in the past week. “We believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people.”
Revealing information like this about an adversary’s battle plans is highly unusual, and Biden’s prediction sent shockwaves around the world. Russia currently has 190,000 troops deployed on Ukraine’s northern and eastern border — nearly half of the nation’s military.
This is a developing story please check back for updates.