President Joe Biden called Russian president Vladimir Putin a “killer” in an ABC News interview that aired Wednesday morning and pledged that his administration would force Putin to “pay a price” for alleged election interference.
The wide-ranging interview addressed a number of ongoing issues within the Biden administration, including concerns that the White House is encouraging illegal immigration along the United States-Mexico border by openly criticizing the Trump administration’s approach to the issue, and whether Biden supports “reforming” the filibuster.
But Biden was also asked about a Tuesday report from the New York Times noting that U.S. intelligence officials believe Putin authorized “extensive efforts to hurt the candidacy of Joseph R. Biden Jr. during the election last year, including by mounting covert operations to influence people close to President Donald J. Trump, according to a declassified intelligence report.”
Biden claims that he specifically warned Putin, in a call earlier in his presidency, that there would be a White House response if the allegations of voter manipulation were proved true.
“He will pay a price,” Biden told ABC. “We had a long talk, he and I, and relatively well. And the conversation started — ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, be prepared.’”
CNN notes that Biden did, reportedly, confront Putin on “a number of issues, including Moscow’s interference in the 2020 US presidential elections, the massive Solarwinds cyberattack, the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and reports of Russian bounties on American troops serving in Afghanistan.”
Biden was then asked whether he believed Putin was a “killer,” to which he replied “I do,” and redirected the interview back to the “price” Putin will pay, except tempering the idea of serious punishment by suggesting that the White House response is designed to promote a partnership with the Kremlin.
As NY Post reported, “Russia called its Washington envoy back to Moscow on Wednesday for consultations” after Biden’s comments about Putin during the interview.
“The Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has been invited to come to Moscow for consultations conducted with the aim of analyzing what should be done and where to go in the context of ties with the United States,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to reports.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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