While Republicans may have taken umbrage over President Joe Biden slamming the GOP on a world stage Monday during his press conference at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the real culprit may very well be the liberal media.
But that may have paled in comparison to Biden’s responses to questions about his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nearly three hours late to the solo press conference — the White House offered no explanation for the extended delay — Biden was in Belgium to attend the 2021 NATO Summit, and he would take questions from the press after brief remarks.
One of the first questions the president faced was from The Washington Post, which took advantage of the setting to ask one helluva loaded question.
“Here at this meeting and earlier at the G7, you’ve said several times that America is back at Allies’ side,” Post reporter Anne Gearan began, “But a lot of those Allies are themselves pretty rattled by what happened on January 6th — an attempted overturning of your election — and they may still be alarmed by the continued hold that Donald Trump has over the Republican Party and the rise of nationalist figures like him around the world.”
“What do you say to those Allies, what have you been saying to them at these meetings about how the next President of the United States can keep any promises you make?” she finished.
Nothing to see here… just Joe Biden slamming the Republican Party in front of a world audience while supposedly representing the United States of America. What happened to #UnityJoe? pic.twitter.com/ECApBYewTL
— For America (@ForAmerica) June 14, 2021
Biden could have avoided a partisan response, given that he was in a foreign country, but “Mr. Unity” jumped in with both feet to announce to the world how insignificant the Republican Party is — in his opinion.
“I don’t want to get into the statistics because you know that old phrase of Disraeli’s: ‘There’s three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,'” he said. “But I think it’s appropriate to say that the Republican Party is vastly diminished in numbers; the leadership of the Republican Party is fractured, and the Trump wing of the party is the bulk of the party, but it makes up a significant minority of the American people.”
The president would go on to take a shot at former President Donald Trump’s “phony populism,” and slam “my Republican colleagues in the Senate” for being “reluctant” to support the Democratic Party’s partisan attempt to “investigate” events that took place on January 6.
Much like their media allies, Democrats are endeavoring to keep the issue on the front burner heading into the 2022 midterms, believing this gives them an advantage.
There were a number of questions about his meeting with Putin, whom Biden once called a “killer.” Striking a different tone, the president was rather complimentary of the Russian leader.
(You may recall the pearl-clutching media being aghast over Trump daring to meet with Putin alone at the Group of 20 summit in 2017.)
“What’s your mindset walking into a meeting with a former KGB agent who you said has no soul,” asked ABC reporter Cecilia Vega.
“I’m going to make clear to President Putin that there are areas where we can cooperate, if he chooses,” Biden replied. “And if he chooses not to cooperate and acts in a way that he has in the past, relative to cybersecurity and some other activities, then we will respond. We will respond in kind. There need not be — we should decide where it’s in our mutual interest, in the interest of the world, to cooperate, and see if we can do that. And areas where we don’t agree, make it clear what the red lines are. I have met with him.
“He’s bright. He’s tough. And I have found that he is a, as they say when I used to play ball, a worthy adversary,” the president continued. “But the fact is that I’ll be happy to talk with you when it’s over, not before, about what the discussion would entail.”
When asked by CNN’s Jeff Zeleny if he still believes Putin is a killer, Biden chuckled.
“They actually — well, look, I mean, he has made clear that, uh…” the president began, before stopping mid-sentence.
There were seven long, awkward seconds of dead silence, followed by a stammering non-answer.
“The answer is, I believe he has in the past essentially acknowledged that he was — there were certain things that he would do or did do. But look, when I was asked that question on air, I answered it honestly, but it’s not much of a — I don’t think it matters a whole lot in terms of this next meeting we’re about to have,” Biden said.
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