The president’s trip home risks the optics of his being away from the White House if Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv falls to the Russians.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden left for Delaware because he wanted to attend a funeral service for the mother of the president’s daughter-in-law, Hallie Biden, the widow of his son Beau Biden. He plans to remain at home for the rest of the weekend.
United States intelligence officials warned Friday that Kyiv could fall within the next few days. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to stay in the city and continue resisting the Russians.
“We’re all here. Our military is here. Citizens in society are here. We’re all here defending our independence, our country, and it will stay this way,” he said in a video he recorded and published online.
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Biden frequently enjoys spending time away from the White House, even during serious world events.
In August, Biden took nine Marine One flights to his home in Delaware and the presidential retreat at Camp David in just 18 days as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.
“Every time I get a chance, I go home to Delaware,” Biden told an audience in Ohio last week. “You think I’m joking? I’m not.”