Sullivan says providing F-16s to Ukraine ‘a question for a later time’

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia is “a question for a later time.” 

During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana Bash asked Sullivan about President Biden’s recent remarks about sending F-16s fighter jets to Ukraine. In an interview with ABC News that aired on Friday, Biden told anchor David Muir that he’s ruling out providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine “for now,” despite pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

“F-16s are a question for a later time. And that’s why President Biden said that, for now, he’s not moving forward with those. So, as far as we’re concerned, the U.S. effort has got to be to get Ukraine the tools it needs for the mission at hand,” Sullivan added. “And the mission at hand is to have a successful counteroffensive where Ukraine is able to take back its own territory, away from the hands of the Russians.” 

When Bash asked again about providing F-16s to Kyiv, Sullivan reiterated that what Biden says “is what goes across the administration.” 

“And he was very clear,” Sullivan concluded. “He said:  ‘I’m ruling them out for now.’ ”