As Biden was wrapping up a press conference at the Hotel du Parc in Geneva, he stopped to answer a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins about meeting with Putin and his “confidence” that the Russian president will “change his behavior.”
“I’m not confident I’m going to change his behavior. What the hell? What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?” Biden said, growing visibly irritated and walking back to center-stage to continue his presser.
While this “behavior” was not specifically mentioned, Biden went on to say that Putin may alter his ways if “the rest of the world reacts” and “diminishes their standing in the world.”
Biden’s exchange with Collins quickly spread across social media, with critics accusing the president of acting aggressively towards a female reporter, something many said would make more of a stir with activists and the media if the president were not a Democrat.
More liberal activists who are typically quick to defend journalists and women, however, pushed back against outrage and blamed Collins for seemingly misquoting Biden.
“FUN FACT: The former guy NEVER apologized to Kaitlan Collins, or any of the reporters he repeatedly berated. Real Presidents do real things,” liberal pundit Majid Padellan tweeted.
Even CNN didn’t have much to say about Biden’s behavior in a segment with national security correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
Biden did later apologize for his behavior though, claiming he should not have been a “wise guy” with Collins.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy, the last answer I gave,” he later told reporters at the Geneva airport, adding he was “short” with Collins and that “good” reporters have to have “a negative view of life,” leading to Collins’ question on Putin. Though he apologized, Biden accused the media of constantly putting a “negative thrust” in their questions to him.
“It makes no sense for me to negotiate with you. It makes no sense for me to tell you what I’m about to do. Not because I want to hide anything from you. Why would I tell you about that?” he said.
Collins reportedly accepted the apology, leading to a wave of criticism for her from more conservative social media users, some of whom accused her of having “Stockholm Syndrome” with the president.
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