Update (1730ET): In addition to the tit-for-tat slur-trading, Russian President Putin told a Russian state television reporter:
“I’ve just thought of this now… I want to propose to President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do it basically live, as it’s called. Without any delays and directly in an open, direct discussion. It seems to me that would be interesting for the people of Russia and for the people of the United States.”
A live TV debate?
“I don’t want to put this off for long. I want to go the taiga this weekend to relax a little,” Putin said.
“So we could do it tomorrow or Monday. We are ready at any time convenient for the American side.”
The Russian leader also said he wished Biden “good health.”
“I would say to him: ‘Be well.’ I wish him good health. I say that without any irony, without jokes,” Putin said.
Given that it has been over 60 days since President Biden has taken questions in a formal press conference, we suspect The White House will not be jumping at the chance; though we are sure Biden will suggest “taking him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”
Putin just challenged Joe Biden to an unscripted live debate.
The whole world knows that we have no leadership at the top just an empty suit with a teleprompter (and he can’t even get that right).
They look at America’s weakness right now and are salivating.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 18, 2021
* * *
Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded to Biden’s explosive Wednesday interview wherein he agreed with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Putin is a “killer”. In his characteristic way of using his wry humor and wit to perhaps lighten the intensity of the situation and expose it as somewhat asinine, the Russian leader simply said that evaluating other countries “is like looking in a mirror”.
“I wish him good health” Putin quipped while noting the US president is probably engaged in a bit of psychological projection, according to Russian state sources. “I say that without irony or joking.” Here’s what Putin said in context:
“It takes one to know one,” Putin said in televised remarks, using a saying from his childhood.
“That’s not just a children’s saying and a joke. There’s a deep psychological meaning in this.”
“We always see in another person our own qualities and think that he is the same as us.”
Putin added that he wished Biden, 78, good health. “I’m saying this without irony, not as a joke.”
“When I was a kid, when we were arguing with each other in the playground, we used to say, ‘Whatever you say [about others] is what you are yourself,'” Putin explained.
Putin: We always project on others what we are ourselves. US is rooted in genocide against Native Americans and in slavery. That legacy continues, that's why there's BLM today. Oh, and US is only country that used nuclear bombs. (And I'm the killer??) pic.twitter.com/RfffkVxbVj
— Lucian Kim (@Lucian_Kim) March 18, 2021
Here’s the key controversial part of that interview that Putin is responding to:
Asked whether he believes Mr Putin is a “killer” in a pre-taped interview that aired on Wednesday, the president responded: “I do.”
“The price he’s going to pay, you’ll see shortly,” he said. Mr Biden recalled meeting Mr Putin, during which he reportedly told him that he “doesn’t have a soul”: “I wasn’t being a wise guy.”
“He looked back at me and said, ‘We understand each other’,” Mr Biden said.
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Biden told @GStephanopoulos that he agreed Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "killer" and will "pay a price" for interfering in U.S. elections. https://t.co/rIe2ms8sSv pic.twitter.com/VtAGCvF9hp
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 17, 2021
“I know him relatively well,” Biden had introduced the comments with, and added that “the most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience… is just know the other guy.”
Meanwhile amid the rapidly spiraling relations the Kremlin had recalled its ambassador to the United States late in the day Wednesday.
When pressed about Biden’s “killer” comments about Putin, Psaki tried to play it down:
At Wednesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to specify whether the president believes the Russian president, literally or metaphorically, is a killer.
“He’s not going to hold back in his direction communications [with Russia]. He’s not going to hold back publicly,” Psaki said.
And further on the recalling back home to Moscow of Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, Psaki said the administration “is going to take a different approach in our relationship to Russia than the prior administration. …We are going to be straightforward and we are going to be direct in areas where we have concerns.”
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