Biden administration National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan talks about the new sanctions being levied against Russian individuals and entities during a Thursday morning appearance on CNN.
CNN HOST: You mentioned the phone call President Biden had with President Putin. Before President Biden called the Russian leader a killer, I'm curious if that came up in a conversation they had, and why invite a conversation, a summit, with someone you think is a killer?
JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Well, first at the height of the cold war when we had thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at one another, when Ronald Reagan was denouncing the Soviet Union as the "evil empire," we had summits.
Important countries and leaders have summits with each other even in the most difficult and testy of times. President Biden does not believe we're at that level with the Russians, but he does believe that this relationship is in a very difficult place where we face the risk of a downward spiral if these two leaders do not get together in a clear-eyed and credible way and talk through the differences in our relationship.
It's not going to mean we see eye to eye on everything, or that President Biden won't stand up and defend American interests forcefully, but it means he will do his part to generate stability and predictability in this relationship.