Putin raves about Biden’s summit performance — but wasn’t impressed by ‘pretty’ Psaki


Russian President Vladimir Putin gave President Biden a rave review after their summit in Geneva, saying that although Biden looked at notes, it was clear to him that his American counterpart is “fully in the know” — unlike his “pretty” press secretary Jen Psaki.

Putin, a former KGB agent known for savvy media manipulations, defended Biden, 78, from what he said are false portrayals that he’s in mental decline and that he performed poorly on Wednesday. 

“Biden is a professional, and one should work very attentively with him to avoid missing any detail. I can say with certainty that he never misses a single detail. This was absolutely obvious for me,” Putin said Thursday, according to state-owned Russian news agency TASS.

Putin added that Biden, who drew negative coverage for appearing to clutch a “cheat sheet” at the summit, did in fact look at his notes.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said it was clear to him that President Joe Biden is “fully in the know.”
REUTERS

“He is fully in the know. He looked into his notes from time to time, but we are all doing this,” Putin said. “The image of President Biden portrayed by our and even by the American media has nothing to do with the reality.”

He added: “I repeat once again — he is organized, he understands what he wants to achieve. And he is doing this very skillfully. One can feel this immediately.”

But Putin was tougher on Psaki, which a US official said showed that Putin viewed the former State Department press chief as effective.

“His press secretary is a young, educated and pretty woman,” Putin said, before adding: “She is mixing things up all the time. This is not because she is not enough educated or has a bad memory. Simply, you know when people think that some things are secondary, they don’t really fix their attention on this … the Americans believe that nothing is more important than themselves. This is their style.”

A US official said in Psaki’s defense: “It is a Russian propaganda cliche to attempt to discredit effective messengers who concern them with gendered and baseless criticism. Any Russia expert will tell you that this kind of screeching is only an acknowledgement of the target’s effectiveness.”

Very little of the Biden-Putin summit was open to the press. Biden drew criticism for appearing to put the US and Russia on equal footing during introductory remarks, telling Putin that both countries were “great powers” — before Biden and Putin watched in apparent amusement as Putin’s guards shoved US reporters.

Putin was more critical of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
REUTERS

White House aides were left scrambling after that short introduction when Biden looked at a reporter and nodded after they asked if he trusted Putin. Biden aides said he didn’t mean to convey anything with the nod.

After the talks concluded, Putin took questions for nearly an hour at a press conference after the White House balked at a joint press conference, giving him an unfettered opportunity to counter-spin US messaging on cyberattacks and human rights. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News there should have been “an American standing beside him saying, ‘No, that’s not what we talked about. That’s not right.”

When Biden gave his own solo press conference, he took questions for about half as long as Putin did before lashing out in anger at CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who asked Biden how he could believe Putin would change his behavior.

Putin praised Biden after their meeting in Geneva.
via REUTERS

“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior! What the hell? What do you do all of the time? When did I say I was confident?” Biden shot back as he walked toward her with his finger in the air.

In response to a follow-up question from Collins about how the meeting could be considered constructive, Biden snapped, “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.”

Republicans were broadly critical of Biden’s performance in Geneva, saying that he gave Putin a PR win without getting anything in exchange. Republicans in particular slammed Biden for recently waiving sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany, which the Trump administration feared would make US allies economically dependent on Russia.