VP Harris Has Testy Interview on 'Today' Show U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 20 January 2022 12:15 PM
"Today" show host Savannah Guthrie’s interview with Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday was marked by testy exchanges between the two women.
Guthrie interrupted Harris at various times during the NBC show. At other times, the two talked over one another.
Guthrie asked if President Joe Biden in his Wednesday press conference essentially gave the green light to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin "to take a bite out of Ukraine."
Harris responded: "On the subject of Ukraine, I will tell you that the president has been very clear, and we as the United States, are very clear: If Putin takes aggressive action, we are prepared to levy serious and severe costs, period. And I will tell you that part of the posture that we have taken is grounded in the respect and the value we place in sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Harris was then interrupted by Guthrie, who said: "I'm sorry to interrupt … I’m sorry to interrupt. But it is less than clear. Thirty minutes after the news conference, the White House press secretary had to actually clarify the president’s remarks…"
Harris then shot back: "I’m being clear with you right now. And so if you’re interested, I’ll continue to be clear.
"We have had direct conversations through various levels of diplomacy with Putin, with Russia, and most importantly with our allies and partners, including our NATO allies and partners.
"We are clear — and have been clear for quite some time — that our first approach and priority and preference is that the issues could be resolved diplomatically. We also have been clear and continue to be clear that if Russia takes aggressive action, it will be met with severe costs."
The Hill noted Biden had sparked confusion when he said at the press conference that a "minor" Russian incursion in Ukraine would not result in massive economic sanctions.
Later in the interview with Guthrie, Harris talked about voting rights legislation.
Guthrie again interrupted the vice president. But Harris pushed back: "If I may finish" and went on.
Guthrie concluded the interview by saying: "Next time they’ve got to give us an hour so I don’t have to interrupt, and you can go as long as you want. I so appreciate the back-and-forth."