At CIA headquarters, Biden lauds U.S. intelligence for Putin warnings

LANGLEY, Va., July 8 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday thanked staff at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters for warning the world of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine, and hailed the which he called “quiet bravery”. “American spies.

On the CIA’s 75th anniversary, Biden said he had been involved with the agency for 52 of those years, first as a junior senator on a 1975 committee set up to investigate mind control experiments and other agency abuses.

Intelligence collected by the CIA revealed Putin’s plans and allowed Washington to warn other countries about the war, he said.

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“It was thanks to the incredible work of our intelligence professionals that we were able to warn the world about what Vladimir Putin was planning in Ukraine,” he said. “Expunging Putin’s playbook punched a gigantic hole in the pretense and discredited his lies about what we were doing in Ukraine.”

Prior to Russia’s February 24 invasion, as Russia massed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, Putin repeatedly accused the United States and other Western powers of deliberately creating a script to lure Moscow in. in the war.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

Biden’s speech stood in stark contrast to that of former President Donald Trump, who gave his first speech as president at CIA headquarters, where he slammed the media and his political opponents in front of the ‘wall of stars’. commemorating dozens of CIA agents. who died in service.

Biden noted that two stars were added to the wall this year. “Your physical health and well-being are of critical importance to me and to your leadership here at the CIA,” Biden said, in a possible reference to Havana Syndrome, a series of abnormal health incidents that affected some 200 American diplomats and intelligence services. officers around the world.

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Reporting by Jeff Mason in Langley, Va. Writing by Andrea Shalal Editing by Heather Timmons and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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