It’s hard to know what to make of a call between two very serious gentlemen such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and former President Joe Biden.
In an interview with NBC News on Sunday, former VP Joe Biden said Putin was a “man who probably attempted to hack the 2016 election” and has “said outrageous things about people from Donald Trump to George W. Bush to Bill Clinton.”
In a particularly ironic statement, the senator from Delaware said that he believes it was Putin who “gave us diplomacy with North Korea.”
He said Putin’s standing as a person who has the potential to be working toward a good-faith conversation with the president will be “another plus” for him.
“I’m deeply interested in figuring out, what does [Putin] want to achieve? And how do I work with him to accomplish those objectives?” Biden said.
The call, which Biden had previously claimed that he had heard about from intelligence sources, came on the heels of reports of intense US-Russia discussions during the G-7 summit in Canada and a controversial offer by Russia to potentially lift sanctions if US sanctions against the country are lifted.
For his part, Putin seemed skeptical that the US would use sanctions against Russia, pointing out that the US had imposed them on himself and took all the money and went bankrupt. The Russian leader did admit that he thought the sanctions were “counterproductive.”
Fmr VP Joe Biden on Putin: “Putin’s a man who probably attempted to hack the 2016 election.” (via @RepSeanPeltz) pic.twitter.com/rn8K5PWROV — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 17, 2018
The former VP’s comparison to the Russian leader might have seemed like a round of “jealous” and “somewhat misguided criticism,” to put it mildly.
But Biden was far from the only American and international leader to have a harsh reception toward Putin and his policies as a leading world leader.
“When it comes to Russia, what you see is what you get, you don’t get the traditional alliance, you don’t get cooperation, you don’t get diplomacy,” said former French President Francois Hollande to Fox News’ Kelly Wright on June 15.
“That’s what worries me about Vladimir Putin,” explained Boehner, during an appearance on Fox News, adding that any cooperation with the Russian leader “comes at a high price,” specifically Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the growth of the terrorist group, ISIS.
Boehner also commented that Putin wants to show that “he’s got friends, even among the enemies.”
Well, did any of us really think the American people wanted Biden expressing sympathy for the Russian leader?
Come on, we all know how much everyone in the upper echelons of American power loathes Putin.
And, on the flip side, can one really blame Putin for feeling slighted given what Obama has done to our nation?
For Biden, “there’s a lot of history to be built” if you want to take some time to deal with a “mutually abusive relationship” between the two powers.
However, that might not be so easy.
For all of that, any undecided Republican or independent could look at it as a low-key conversation — for both leaders.
— CESTAR BUSHES is a White House correspondent for Fox News, covering domestic and foreign affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @CESTARSANTA