Kamala Harris laughs after question on Ukrainian refugees
US Vice President Kamala Harris broke out laughing after being asked about Washington’s plans to help Ukrainian refugees.
Harris was fielding questions regarding the Ukraine crisis alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda on Thursday in Warsaw when the incident took place.
A reporter asked Harris whether the US was “willing to make a specific allocation for Ukrainian refugees” and then turned to Duda, asking the Polish president if he had requested that Washington accept more refugees.
Neither of the two politicians apparently wanted to take the floor initially, with Duda and Harris looking at each other in silence for a brief moment, apparently nudging each other to respond. At one point, the vice president smiled as she turned back toward Duda, joking, “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” then burst out laughing, inviting the Polish leader to speak.
Duda revealed that he had asked Harris for assistance in dealing with the refugee flow from Ukraine, adding that he specifically called on Washington to “speed up and simplify” the acceptance of those Ukrainians who have relatives in the US and “who would be willing – at least for the time when the war is still waging… to stay with their families in the United States.”
Harris is on a three-day trip to Poland and Romania for talks with allies about Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine. She met earlier on Thursday with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to help coordinate the international response to the conflict, which has led to more than two million refugees fleeing Ukraine, including over 1.2 million who have crossed into neighboring Poland.
Just after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the US was ready to take in refugees fleeing the country, but expects the bulk of Ukrainians to go to Europe, citing Poland as an example.
Harris has a habit of cackling when pressed for answers about serious issues. For instance, she laughed while cutting off a reporter’s question about Americans trapped in Afghanistan during the chaotic US evacuation from Kabul last August. Also last year, she repeatedly laughed off questions about visiting the US-Mexico border as record numbers of migrants sought to cross into the US.