JOE Biden choked up as he addressed troops moments after touching down at the Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, ahead of the G7 summit.
Recalling his late son Beau’s military service, Biden also issued a thinly-veiled threat to Vladimir Putin as US-Russia tensions escalate, noting he would “meet with Mr Putin to let him know what I want him to know.”
The US president has the G7 summit, a meeting with Queen Elizabeth, and, of course, the tense talks with Putin, on the horizon.
Biden has set the stakes for his eight-day trip in sweeping terms, believing that the West must publicly demonstrate it can compete economically with China as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
The paramount priority for Biden, who left on Wednesday for his first stop in the United Kingdom, is to convince the world that his Democratic administration is not just a fleeting deviation in the trajectory of an American foreign policy.
Many of America’s allies fear the USA has irrevocably drifted toward a more transactional outlook under former President Donald Trump.
Read our Biden live blog below for the very latest news and updates…
BIDEN TO ANNOUNCE GLOBAL VACCINE STRATEGY
On Wednesday while boarding Air Force One, the President said that he would be announcing his global vaccine strategy.
Last month the Biden administration announced that by the end of June, the US will share 80million doses of the country’s vaccine supply with the world.
The donations will be given to the U.N-backed COVAX program which has seen 76million doses being shared with countries in need.
BIDEN TO MAKE FIRST FOREIGN TRIP
The president and First Lady are expected to arrive at the Royal Air Force in Mildenhall, United Kingdom at 8pm local time, 3pm US time.
In an article for the Washington Post published on Sunday before his first foreign trip as president, Biden wrote, “In the United Kingdom, after meeting with prime minister Boris Johnson to affirm the special relationship between our nations, I will participate in the G7 summit.
“This group of leading democracies and economies has not met in person in two years due to the coronavirus.”
“You’re the best of our country. That’s not hyperbole. You’re the ones who sign up and run toward danger when duty calls,” Biden said during his touted UK address.
“Less than 1percent of Americans make the choice that you make, that you made…the other 99percent of us, we owe you.”
JOY REID WEIGHS IN
MSNBC host Joy Reid praised Joe Biden’s visit to the UK today.
“Strong start to Biden’s first trip to Europe,” she said, before issuing a slight dig at the president and slamming Donald Trump.
“Not new rhetoric,” she added. “But he reinforced the American commitment to democracy.
“Not an easy task after four years of a wannabe autocrat whose party is currently at war with democracy even as Biden speaks.
After his well-received address to cheering crowds in the UK and took aim at Vladimir Putin, he issued an official statement on his Twitter account.
“America is better positioned to advance our national security and our economic prosperity when we bring together like-minded nations to stand with us,” he said.
“Our unrivaled network of alliances and partnerships are a key American advantage.”
In an attempt to detract from Biden’s vow to stand up to Vladimir Putin, the House Republicans shared footage of him appanently praising the Russian leader.
“President Biden just said he is going to let Putin know, ‘what I want him to know.’ Here’s Biden in 2002 praising Putin for restoring ‘rule of law’ to Russia,” they wrote.
As far back as 2001, Biden has actually been vocally critical of Putin, remarking: “I don’t trust Putin,” after the June 2001 Bush-Putin summit in Slovenia.
“Hopefully, the president was being stylistic rather than substantive,” Biden added, after George W. Bush described Putin as “very straightforward and trustworthy.”
RUSSIA OUTLAWS ANTI-CORRUPTION ACTIVIST
A Moscow court on Wednesday night outlawed the organizations founded by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as Biden issued a thinly-veiled dig at Vladimir Putin.
It cited “extremist” tendencies as Russian authorities try to silence dissent and bar Kremlin critics from running for parliament in September.
The ruling prevents people associated with Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his sprawling network of regional offices across Russia from running for office.
Many of Navalny allies hoped to run for parliamentary seats in the September 19 election.
Extremism carries lengthy prison terms for activists who have worked with the organizations, donors, and for even sharing their materials.
Putin critic Navalny was arrested in January upon returning from Germany where he spent five months recovering after being poisoned.
He blamed the nerve agent attack on the Kremlin, which officials there dney.
In February, he was hit with a prison term of two-and-half years for violating the terms of a suspended sentence from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that he dismissed as politically motivated.
During their transatlantic flight to the UK, Jill Biden posted a candid photograph.
Flotus said she was “prepping for the G7” hours before her RAF Mildenhall address.
During her address, Jill Biden joked that her husband had to concentrate moments before he said that he “kept forgetting I’m president.”
“Joe, pay attention,” FLOTUS said.
During his address, Biden said: “This is a great start. When America is at its best, it’s a force for good in the world.
“I’ve been clear, the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities.”
In another reference to an Irish poet during his address, Biden mentioned William Butler Yeats’ “Easter, 1916” with the line: “All changed, changed utterly.”
The poem refers to the Irish rebellion in 1916 against British rule, that resulted in the Irish War for Independence and the Irish Civil War.
On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a group of nationalists led by Patrick Pearse proclaimed the Irish Republic.
“To all you airmen and soldiers, I wanna say thank you. We owe you. We’re so damned proud of you,” Biden said, as his voice caught.
“So proud. And I only wish my major was here to thank you as well, thank you for everything that you do.”
DIG AT PUTIN
Biden told the cheering crowd he would be letting Vladimir know “what we need him to know.”
He emphasized that he would stand for the rights of all people.
Speaking about the US, he said the country was founded on an “idea” that “all men and women are created equal.”
“No nation can defeat us as long as we stick to our values,” he said.
Biden recalled the John Milton poem “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” during his speech to the troops.
He then acknowledged the thousands of hours spent getting people through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’ve visited well over 100 countries,” he said. “This is my first trip as president of the United States.”
Biden praised the troops for stepping up when “duty calls.”
He described military service as a “sacred obligation” and acknowledged the incredible honor of being their Commander-in-Chief.
CLAP FROM CLINTON
As Biden said “come on, man” during his lively address and told the troops he was “so damned proud of them,” Hillary Clinton weighed in on Twitter.
“This is a great start. When America is at its best, it’s a force for good in the world,” Clinton tweeted.
During his RAF address, Joe Biden choked up as he described his pride during his late son Beau’s military promotion before praising the British military base.
“We have an awful lot of history at this base,” he went on. “I’m sure everyone here knows the history.”
He noted the base was bombed thousands of times during WWII and noted that his uncle was killed in the war.
‘PLEASE AT EASE’
Biden just told the crowd “I keep forgetting I’m president.”
BIDEN TAKES THE STAGE
“We are going to make sure that the families of our veterans … Have what they need to survive,” FLOTUS went on, describing the military as an organization “bound by love.”
‘OUR AMBASSADORS TO THE WORLD’
FLOTUS told the troops’ families that they were as “crucial to our military as radar.”
Jill Biden praised the military, praising it’s patriotism: “When you serve, your families serve too.”
She called for a national security imperative and said the RAF Mildenhall officials understood that.
JILL TAKES THE STAGE
“Joe and I are always excited to visit with our troops and their families – you know you can sit down,” Jill Biden told the elated crowd.
Biden and his wife hyave arrived at the RAF base.
During the address, the colonel described the air force as “masters of the air, cyber and space.”
He said: “Right here in this transform hanger is our families because families matter most… It’s an education in sacrifice.”
At this point, he introduced the Bidens.
AIR FORCE ADDRESS
A US Air Force colonel gave an emotional address to the crowd in at RAF Mildenhall ahead of Biden’s speech.
“Tonight, is a celebration for you,” he told the British troops. “Apart from a couple of disagreements over the centuries we have stood by your side since 1785.”