Ahead of next week’s summit between the two leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that President Biden’s description of him as a “murderer” was “not something to worry about, at least.” he did not reject the definition at all.
“During my tenure, I have become accustomed to attacks from all sides and from different regions, with different caliber and brutality, under different pretexts and reasons,” Putin told NBC News correspondent Keir. Simmons.
“So when it comes to harsh rhetoric, I think it’s an expression of the general culture of the United States,” Putin continued. “Of course, in Hollywood … There are some deep things in Hollywood, mahogany behaviors that can be seen as the art of cinematography, but it’s part of American political culture, it’s normal. By the way, not here [in Russia]. It’s not normal here. “
When Simmons objected that he had not heard Putin answer a direct question: “Are you a murderer?” The Russian leader responded: “I answered, I answered. I’ll add if you allow. I have heard dozens of such accusations, especially during the events that took place during our counterterrorism operations in the North Caucasus. And when that happens, I always follow the interests of the Russian people and the Russian state, and my feelings about how someone calls whom and what labels, which is not something I worry about at least. ”
He still ha’t answered the question.
In March, Biden told ABC News reporter George Stefanopoulos, “I do,” when he asked the anchor president to believe Putin was a “murderer.” At the time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by calling Biden’s remarks “a very bad statement” and showing that Washington “does not want to normalize relations.”
The July 16 summit between Putin and Biden in Geneva will be the first summit between the Russian president and the American leader since Putin met with former President Donald Trump in July 2018 in Helsinki. Trump has been criticized for questioning the involvement of Russian officials during his 2016 election.
Biden has vowed to have a tough relationship with Moscow’s longtime leader, and Putin has spoken well of Trump when he compared the 45th president to his successor.
“I believe that former U.S. President Mr. Trump is an extraordinarily individual, talented person, otherwise he would not have been a U.S. president,” Putin said. “He’s a colorful person. He may or may not like you. But it didn’t come from a U.S. institution, it wasn’t part of big time policy before, and some like it, some don’t, but that’s the truth.
“President Biden is definitely radically different from Trump because President Biden is a man of office,” Putin continued. “He spent almost his entire adult life in politics … He’s a different person and I hope yes, he has some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will be no impulse-based actions in the name of sitting. President of the United States. “
The NBC interview, part of which will be aired on NBC Nightly News on Friday and aired in full on Monday, is Putin’s first conversation in an American outlet since he sat down with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. his 2018 summit with Trump.
During this interview, Wallace presented Putin with a commemorative copy of the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence agencies accused of hacking and stealing emails from Democratic campaign organizations and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.