Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh alleged during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that President Joe Biden ordered the destruction of Russia's Nord Stream pipelines to improve his re-election chances by presenting himself as a war president.
Hersh published a report last month suggesting that the US was responsible for the pipelines' destruction as part of a covert operation.
Hersh claimed that US Navy divers planted explosives on the pipelines in June 2022 during the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise, detonating them three months later using a remote signal from a sonar buoy.
According to his sources, some CIA and State Department officials opposed the operation, recognizing it as an "act of war" and a potential "political nightmare."
“He did it. He did it, I’m telling you, he did it,” said Hersh during his speech. “The Biden game is to wait it out and never say yes.”
“I think Biden also saw beating up Russia as a ticket. Jack Kennedy is a classic example — presidents always did well politically in wars,” he added.
The New York Times reported last week that a "pro-Ukrainian group" sabotaged the pipelines, using a small team of six individuals, contradicting earlier assumptions that only a state actor would have the necessary resources. Hersh insisted that Biden was behind the attack, with the president intending to escalate the conflict.
Hersh criticized the mainstream media for failing to follow up on his report and attributed the pipeline attack to Biden's desire to emulate the political success of past presidents during wartime.
China has expressed skepticism about the pro-Ukrainian group's involvement and called for an "objective, impartial, and professional investigation" into the bombings. Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin questioned the silence of Western media following Hersh's report and the sudden surge of interest in the story.
German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the CIA had warned Berlin of a potential attack on Baltic Sea gas pipelines weeks before the incident.