- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 20, 2022

President Biden is scheduled to spend at least part of his President’s Day weekend at his home in Delaware, the White House announced Sunday, amid warnings from administration officials that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent.

Mr. Biden was expected to stay at the White House throughout the holiday weekend, but the White House scrapped those plans Sunday afternoon and announced he will spend some of the federal holiday in Wilmington.

Since taking office last year, Mr. Biden has made 44 trips to Delaware, totaling 143 days. His days in Delaware have been split between his home in Wilmington and his beach house in Rehoboth Beach.

That’s more time away from the White House than any of his three most recent predecessors.

Mr. Biden’s latest trip back to his home state comes after a day of administration officials stepping up warnings that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is coming within days. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the U.S. believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his military to invade Ukraine.

SEE ALSO: Russian troops have received order to invade Ukraine: report

“Everything we’re seeing tells us that the decision we believe President Putin has made to invade is moving forward,” Mr. Blinken said. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told ABC News that Mr. Putin is “dead serious” about invading Ukraine

“He’s assembled the kinds of things that you would need to conduct a successful invasion,” Mr. Austin said. 

Mr. Biden himself said for the first time Friday that he believes Mr. Putin has made up his mind to invade. Previously, the president has insisted that Mr. Putin hasn’t decided if he’ll pull the trigger on a full-scale invasion. 

“As of this moment, I’m convinced he’s made the decision. We have reason to believe that,” Mr. Biden told reporters after speaking about the Ukraine crisis. 

Sunday’s trip is not the first time Mr. Biden has left Washington for Delaware amid a foreign policy crisis. 

SEE ALSO: Pentagon chief Austin says it’s highly likely Russia will send tanks into Ukraine’s capital

In September, he was slammed by Republicans for spending Labor Day weekend in Delaware while Americans remained stranded in Afghanistan amid the bungled U.S. withdrawal from the war-torn nation. 

The White House defended Mr. Biden’s visits home during the Afghanistan crisis, insisting he was still on the job. 

“Presidents of the United States are constantly on the job, regardless of their location; whether they’re on a state visit overseas or just 100 miles from the White House for a short trip to Wilmington,” the White House said in a statement at the time. 

“Wherever he is, the President spends every day working to defeat the pandemic, to ensure our economy delivers for the middle class — not just those at the top — and to protect our national security,” the statement said.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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