Biden Snaps at CNN Reporter over Post-Summit Putin Questions
During a press conference Wednesday after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Biden snapped at a reporter when he asked how he could be confident that the Russian leader would "change his behavior" as he committed human rights abuses against Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and others denied his refusal to admit even partial responsibility for the Russian cyberattack on a major US oil pipeline and his tepid commitment to improving US-Russian relations in general.
Biden barked back, “I'm not confident that he will change his behavior. What the hell? ... when did I say that I am confident? "
“Look, let's get it straight. What I said was what will change his behavior if the rest of the world reacts to him and belittles his reputation in the world, ”he added after CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins clarified her question.
Collins responded by pointing out that Putin refused during his own press conference on the issues that Biden said they would discuss during their meeting, arguing that Putin's story suggests that he will not change his behavior anytime soon .
"If you don't understand, you are in the wrong business," Biden shot back.
Biden reportedly reached out to the press on the tarmac before boarding Air Force One to apologize for being such a "wise guy" when he harshly addressed the reporter's question.
During an appearance on CNN right after Biden's outburst, Collins said she was just doing her job and Biden's apology was "totally unnecessary."
"He didn't have to apologize, although I really appreciate it," she added. Collins said that "a question to the president does not mean that it is negative or positive".
The president also asked questions about Putin's earlier comment on the Russian regime's attacks on opposition leaders during the press conference.
During his individual press conference that preceded Bidens, Putin said his government is only cracking down on foreign agents to prevent civil unrest threatening domestic security, citing the summer 6th episode of the Capitol Riot as cautionary examples.
"It's a ridiculous comparison," Biden said when asked about Putin's claim.
Biden added that there is a stark difference between criminals storming a government building, violently attacking law enforcement and property destruction, and peaceful protesters marching and exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Another reporter asked what Biden believed he had achieved during his conversation with Putin and how he plans to hold Russia accountable for its violations, including the numerous recent cyberattacks and the imprisonment of Navalny and two Americans.
The president assured the press that "he [Putin] knows there are consequences". He then affirmed that Putin's misconduct will practically self-control. "Its global credibility is shrinking," said Biden.
As an example, he suggested that Russia's meddling and interference in US elections, exposed and well known around the world, "diminishes the reputation of a country desperately trying to assert its world power."
"If you run a country that doesn't adhere to international standards, it hurts you," said Biden. He said no specific ultimatums, penalties, or implications regarding ransomware, navalny, etc. had been discussed with Putin.
As for Russia, which is trying to undermine US cyber infrastructure, Biden said, “We have significant cyber capabilities and he knows it. If he violates these basic norms, we will react. ”Biden also stated that it would be“ devastating ”if Navalny, who was imprisoned by the Russian authorities for speaking out against corruption in the regime, died in the Russian prison came.
Biden had previously stated at the NATO press conference on Monday that “Navalny's death would be another indication that Russia has little or no intention to uphold basic basic human rights. It would be a tragedy. In my opinion, it would do nothing but hurt his [Putin] relationships with the rest of the world and with me. "
"The last thing Putin wants now is a cold war," Biden said on Wednesday, although he made it clear that their civil, upbeat chat doesn't mean there has been a dramatic dynamic adjustment to the friendly "kumbaya" between the two countries Has. Biden said Putin will not suddenly "lay down his arms" as he is still "concerned about being surrounded".
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