Jake Sullivan Caught on Hot Mic Admitting Taxpayers Pay for ‘Upkeep’ of Seized Russian Yachts

President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Thursday that US taxpayers bear the cost of maintaining Russian superyachts seized from the oligarchs as part of sanctions against the Russian economy.

Sullivan was caught on a hot mic at a conference hosted by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) while talking about the foreign policy issues facing the Biden administration. He said a “crazy” aspect of sanctions against Russia is that the US government pays for the upkeep of yachts seized from Russian billionaires from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

“You know what’s the craziest: when you seize one, you have to pay for the upkeep. The federal government pays for maintenance, under the rubric of forfeiture,” Sullivan said, according to Vox reporter Jonathan Guyer. “Some people are basically paid to maintain Russian superyachts on behalf of the US government. It’s unbelievable.”

The CNAS has since made the video of Sullivan’s interview private on Youtube. (RELATED: People Online Are Tracking Russian Oligarchs’ Yachts To Seize Them Worldwide)

The United States, along with some allies, has seized the assets of some Russian oligarchs, including yachts, which are located outside of Russia. The move is part of a sanctions regime aimed at reducing national support for Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.

Biden has come under fire from some critics for spending too many resources on the war in Ukraine. He recently authorized spending an additional $40 billion to help Ukraine in the fight against Moscow.

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