The Washington Post says it learned about the out-of-view conversation from officials who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
The sources also said the White House has publicly been purposefully vague about what those consequences would be in an attempt to build concern among Russian leaders, a method of nuclear deterrence called “strategic ambiguity.”
Biden has said the U.S. response to Russian use of nuclear weapons would depend on “the extent of what they do.”
Deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev stoked fears about Russia’s possible use of weapons when he announced on Thursday that the country would be willing to use “strategic nuclear weapons” to protect itself.
Putin has suggested Western nations are threatening a nuclear attack and that if they occur Russia would be forced to respond in kind.