From cultural snafus to awkward comments, President Joe Biden has embarrassed the United States plenty of times already during his ongoing trip to Europe. A new video from the NATO summit on Monday revealed that he is unfortunately not done yet.
Donning a face mask in spite of the CDC’s recommendation that vaccinated people do not need to do so, Biden walked over to greet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
What followed was a less than comfortable fist-bump that did not do much to bolster Biden’s image on the world stage.
Check it out here:
Many national and global news outlets took note of what they saw as an awkward encounter between Biden and Erdogan. The New York Post found it odd that the two maintained “casual knuckle contact,” and the UK Independent called it an “awkward greeting.”
Biden undoubtedly wanted to portray America’s strength in meeting with Erdogan. According to the UK Daily Mail, this is the first in-person interaction between the two leaders since Biden officially recognized the Armenian genocide.
Given that the Armenian genocide has been a hot debate between the United States and Turkey in recent weeks, it was important for Biden to paint a strong picture of America. Instead, he made headlines for being “awkward,” which may overshadow a surprisingly strong decision from the Biden administration.
In 1915, 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of what was then known as the Ottoman Empire. Biden’s decision to officially deem their deaths a genocide was a resolute and necessary public statement, but it drew public ire from Erdogan.
“An ally country taking such a stance on an issue that has nothing to do with NATO, the issue of Armenians, has disturbed and upset us,” he said before traveling to the summit according to the Daily Mail. “It is not possible to go on without reminding [Biden of] this.”
This action by Biden was not the first incident to create a rift between the United States and Turkey in recent years. The New York Post reported that the relationship between the two countries has been strained since the Trump administration.
“The US-Turkish relationship has been roiled in recent years, including by Erdogan’s militarism in Syria and Libya and his suppression of dissent following an alleged coup attempt in 2016,” it reported.
The Post also added that Trump ordered sanctions against Turkey in 2018 following an attack by Turkish guards on US citizens the year before.
While Biden took the correct stance on the Armenian genocide, the awkward interaction with Erdogan is not going to help silence critics who claim that he is too old, senile, and weak to represent America on the world stage.
During the first portion of his trip, Biden made headlines for breaking royal protocol in Great Britain. The UK Daily Mail reported that Biden and his convoy, which included a whopping 18 cars, arrived five minutes after Queen Elizabeth II to a G-7 reception on Friday.
“It is usual for all guests to be in place before the Queen arrives for any official event,” it was reported. In other words, Biden screwed up.
These are relatively minor missteps from the president, so one may wonder why they need to be covered.
The answer is that the establishment media created the standard during the Trump administration, and we’re just following their lead.
A scathing, tell-all exposé from Business Insider in 2019 criticized Trump for offenses such as giving the queen a handshake and patting her on the back. What hard-hitting journalism.
What if Trump had engaged in the same awkward fist-bump that Biden did with Erdogan? Well, the establishment media would have been all over that.
Remember just a few months ago when they completely lost their minds over an interaction Donald and Melania Trump had after an October 2020 presidential debate?
“Another day, another uncomfy interaction between the Trumps,” Cosmopolitan said in an Oct. 23, 2020 article. In the linked video, Melania Trump is shown, wait for it, unclasping her hand from Donald Trump’s. Unbelievable!
In all seriousness, Biden’s gaffes are arguably more concerning than Trump’s when taken as a whole. An awkward fist bump is one thing, but repeatedly mixing up two completely different countries is another.
That’s exactly what Biden did Sunday as he was apparently unable to distinguish between Syria and Libya while answering a question at the final day of the G-7 summit.
This is horrible. At some point his cognitive disfunction has to be considered a natl security threat if only because of the confidence it must give our enemies “President confuses Syria with Libya three times”
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) June 13, 2021
At some point, awkward mishaps shift from laughable to concerning, especially when they are coming from the leader of the free world. As Biden’s gaffes continue to add up, it is impossible not to wonder where that line is.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.