NEW: Biden 'hopes to God' Navalny's death in Russian prison forces House to fund Ukraine war

"I hope to God it helps. I mean, the idea that we need anything more to get Ukraine aid."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

President Joe Biden briefed White House reporters on Friday after the death of Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader, was reported. Navalny was 47-years-old.

When asked if he was more confident that Navalny's death would lead to an approval of Ukraine aid, Biden said "I hope to God it helps. I mean, the idea that we need anything more to get Ukraine aid."

He said that he was "both not surprised and outraged" about the news of Navalny's death in a Russian prison north of the Arctic Circle, where he has been jailed since returning to Russia in 2021.

Biden praised him for "bravely" standing up to the "corruption and violence and all the bad things the Putin government was doing." For his efforts, Biden said, "Putin had him poisoned, he had him arrested, he had him prosecuted for fabricated crimes, he sent him to prison, he was held in isolation, even all that didn't stop him from calling out Putin's lies."

Biden clearly didn't recognize the irony that his government is prosecuting his own political opponent and seeks to convict and jail him before the general presidential election in November 2024.

Biden quickly pivoted to renewing his demand for war funding in Ukraine, which has been attempting to fend off their neighboring aggressor Russian since February 2022.

"This tragedy provides us with the stakes of this moment. We have to provide the funding so Ukraine can keep defending itself," Biden said.

Biden has demanded that Congress deliver additional aid to Ukraine to help in that effort. The US has sent some $113 billion so far, and a recent bill would have sent another $60 billion. Biden complained that the bill was not passed, and said that "the failure to support Ukraine in this moment would never be forgotten.

The Senate approved it, the House balked after having said outright that there'd be no Ukraine funding without real border security for the United States. The bill made a passing glance at border security for the US but did not address the House concerns. The House then impeached Biden's head of border security, HHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

"The clock is ticking, we have to help now," he said, before complaining about former President Trump, his lead political opponent, who has stated his intention to make European allies pay into the defense for NATO. Biden said this was "outrageous" and that he could not "fathom" it.

Biden was asked if he was "looking at increasing sanctions on Russia again," and Biden responded that the administration is "looking at a whole number of options."

The reporter asked if "there is anything you can do to get ammunition to Ukraine without a supplemental in Congress?"

Biden said "No," and complained that the House was on a two-week break. "It's about time they step up," he said.

"It's just reinforcing all the concern and almost, I won't say panic, but real concern about the United States being a reliable ally. This is outrageous," he said.

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