Agitated Biden Lashes Out After Reporter Questions His Narrative of Putin Meeting: 'You're in the Wrong Business'


President Joe Biden lashed out at a reporter on Wednesday when pressed about his recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, with Russian President Vladamir Putin.

The reporter — CNN’s Kaitlan Collins — questioned Biden at a news conference in Geneva, asking how his meeting with Putin could have been “constructive,” as Biden claimed, given Putin’s behavior during the meeting.

Collins pointed out how Putin “downplayed human rights abuses,” “denied any involvement” in Russian cyberattacks and even “refused to say Alexei Navalny’s name.” Navalny — a Russian dissident — is believed to have been a target of assassination by the Russian Federation last year, according to a U.S. State Department report released on March 2. Navalny is currently imprisoned by the Russian government.

Consequently, these three controversies — Navalny’s treatment, Russian cyberattacks and Russian human rights abuses — were believed to be major topics of discussion during the world leaders’ meeting and yet, as Collins highlighted in her question, all three topics were ducked by Putin.

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“Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?” the CNN correspondent asked.

“I’m not confident — What the hell? What do you do all the time?” Biden responded. “When did I say I was confident?”

“I said what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything,” the president said.

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“But given his past behavior has not changed, and in that press conference after sitting down with you for several hours, [Putin] denied any involvement in cyberattacks, he downplayed human rights abuses, he even refused to say Alexei Navalny’s name. So, how does that account to a constructive meeting?” Collins asked Biden.

Opting not to respond with a detailed defense, the president snapped at her.

“If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business,” Biden said before abruptly exiting the conference.

The heated exchange was quickly followed up with multiple reporters, from both left- and right-wing outlets, voicing their disapproval of Biden’s handling of the situation on Twitter.

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“Biden aggressively insulting and demeaning a female reporter while she’s just doing her job, all in front of her colleagues,” veteran reporter Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

“Biden flips out almost every time he is asked an even vaguely pointed question — true during the campaign and true as president,” Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner wrote.

“It would’ve served Biden better to not lose his temper with Kaitlan Collins. But the problem with her question is she put words in Biden’s mouth that he didn’t say. Biden never expressed confidence that Putin would change his behavior,” Vox reporter Aaron Rupar tweeted.

The president later apologized for his outburst.

“I owe my last question an apology,” Biden told reporters before boarding Air Force One. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with the last answer I gave.”

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
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