President Joe Biden’s playdate with Russian President Vladamir Putin went down today.
The meeting took place behind closed doors over a three-hour period, and both Biden and Putin described the summit as generally positive.
So what happened? President Biden assured reporters that “I did what I came to do.” And that “do” included no meaningful progress on areas of disagreement, no new areas of agreement, and what CNN called “a read on each other ahead of what will likely still be a highly contentious relationship.”
“I told President Putin my agenda is not against Russia or anyone else, it’s for the American people,” Biden said. “I made it clear to President Putin that we’ll continue to raise issues of fundamental human rights because that’s who we are.”
The world leaders also secured an agreement to return each country’s ambassador to their post and pledged to assign ‘experts’ to craft a plan that will focus on the growing problem of cyberattacks. That plan will most likely include Russia continuing to launch cyberattacks against U.S. companies while the United States helps to facilitate payments to the cyberterrorists.
Putin called the talks “constructive,” according to CNN, and said he had come away with a generally positive impression of Biden. “He’s a balanced and professional man, and it’s clear that he’s very experienced,” Putin said. “It seems to me that we did speak the same language.”
Translation: “I can totally play this guy. Thank God Trump was replaced by this wimp.”
Prior to the summit, Biden nodded ‘yes’ when asked by reporters if he ‘trusted’ President Putin – the same guy he labeled a ‘killer’ last March.
White House communications director Kate Bedingfield later ‘clarified’ that “it was a chaotic scrum with reporters shouting over each other. POTUS was very clearly not responding to any one question, but nodding in acknowledgment to the press generally. He said just two days ago in his presser: ‘verify, then trust.'”
Hammer and Nigel have highlights from President Biden’s post-summit comments to reporters Wednesday.