Putin, Lavrov to Biden: Sure We’ll Talk About Human Rights: Let’s Start With the Jan. 6 Rioters

Advertisements
Photo Credit: Image by Michael Siebert from Pixabay

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a summit in Geneva, Switzerland on June 16.

During a Memorial Day Service at Veterans Memorial Park in Wilmington, Delaware on Sunday, Biden pledged that he would press his Russian counterpart on human rights issues.

Biden said, “I’m meeting with President Putin in a couple weeks in Geneva making it clear we will not, we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights,” according to Reuters.

On Monday, Agence France Presse reported that Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are delighted to discuss human rights issues with the American president. They plan to question Biden about the rights of the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters, some of whom still remain incarcerated.

Speaking to reporters, Lavrov said, “Of course, we will be ready to discuss everything, including problems that exist in the United States.”

He said, “Putin could raise the January 6 protests in support of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.” Lavrov noted that the Russian government was monitoring the “persecution” of the Jan. 6 protestors and the “protection of opposition rights” in the U.S. “A lot of interesting things are happening there.”

 

 

A good day for Biden is being able to read a speech off of a teleprompter without a serious blunder.

I don’t think he’s capable of matching wits with Vladimir Putin.

Aside from his waning cognitive abilities, Biden fails to grasp that he has lost the moral high ground. For over four months, he and his party have ignored the Constitution and stomped all over the Bill of Rights. He doesn’t get to lecture Putin about human rights.

The Democrats’ portrayal of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as an insurrection and the FBI’s subsequent overzealous efforts to hunt down those who “stormed the Capitol” with unwarranted and often dramatic arrests to bolster their false narrative is seen clearly by the rest of the world. Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in particular, recognize authoritarian tactics when they see them.

The Department of Justice told CBS News that as of May 6, there had been 440 arrests and they were planning 100 more. According to CBS:

More than 125 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, and at least 35 of those were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon, the Department of Justice said. About 140 officers were assaulted during the attack, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.

More than 350 were charged with entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and more than 35 were charged with entering the Capitol with a dangerous or deadly weapon, the spokesperson said.

Just as Chinese diplomats proved that China had neither fear nor respect for Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his team at their March talks in Alaska, Putin will show he has neither fear nor respect for Biden when the two meet in Geneva.

Putin intends to humiliate Biden at this meeting just as he did the last time they met. The occasion was Biden’s 2011 state visit to Moscow.

This little known episode was not reported by the press at the time. Most of us only learned about it after former White House stenographer Mike McCormick published a book about his six years (2011-2017) spent at Biden’s side as he met with world leaders, delivered speeches and interacted with members of the media. The book is entitled “Joe Biden Unauthorized: And the 2020 Crackup of the Democratic Party.”

It’s important to remember that, contrary to Biden’s current frail condition, he was at the top of his game in 2011. But even in his prime, Biden was never considered a formidable or even a particularly strong leader. Putin’s lack of respect for the U.S. Vice President was unmistakable, even then.

Ahead of the meeting, McCormick notes that Biden’s staffers had “made a big deal about how Putin really dominated the conversation [with] Obama” during his visit to Russia. They were sure that Biden, because of his “decades of Senate foreign policy experience,” would never allow that to happen.

During a joint news conference with Putin, Biden “launched into a soliloquy about his visits to Russia during the Cold War,” McCormick told The Free Beacon. Suddenly, Biden’s microphone was cut off. Then “the press lighting was switched off, and Putin’s aides ushered the media out of the room.”

Biden was saying, “I’ve been around a long time. The first time I was here…”

“And… cut.”

“Joe Biden got about one sentence further into that spiel when off went his microphone, off went the lights for the TV cameras, and stern Russian voices were commanding the press to leave. And leave they did,” McCormick wrote in a March article about the incident.

He added, “They went out quickly and efficiently, with videocameras popping off of tripods. Equipment snapping shut. Portable lights clattering down retractable poles. No one spoke, and no one dared linger.”

Putin had “publicly humiliated” Biden.

“He basically got body-slammed by Putin, really. I mean, I don’t know how else to describe it,” McCormick told the Beacon. “To me it was like, here’s our great foreign policy expert and he just got punk’d. And Vladimir Putin just had no fear or respect for him.”

Unsurprisingly, news of this very public, very deliberate indignity “never made it into media coverage of the trip.”

Recounting this moment in his book, McCormick wrote: “[Putin’s] message was unmistakable: I’m in charge of the room, I’m in charge of my country, and I’m in charge of the reset. As you might imagine, the vice president’s staffers were furious with the Russians. I was instructed to have the transcript reflect how the vice president had been cut off in mid-sentence.”

The official White House transcript reads: “VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: There’s a reason, Mr. Prime Minister. Mr. Prime Minister, I’ve been around a long time. The first time I was here — the second time I was here, I was meeting with President Brezhnev. We were trying to pass SALT II — END”

McCormick described the scene in the immediate aftermath of the snub in his article. “This was Putin in all his KGB ruthlessness. Whether by some prearranged signal or simply an undisclosed time limit, he had pulled the plug and done the unthinkable: he’d stolen Joe Biden’s audience and rendered him speechless. Shut him down in mid-sentence with the flick of an invisible switch.”

“Across the table,” he wrote, “I could see Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, in the now dimly lit room, looking as duped as an exhausted fish in the bottom of a boat. No protest, no complaint. No, hey, I wasn’t finished. Nothing. He was humiliated.”

“To me, the revelation was the premeditated precision of the snub. Putin or his team had likely plotted this all out. They knew exactly what bait to use, exactly how Joe Biden would take it, and then when he did, they reeled him helplessly in.”

“The most powerful man in Russia had neither fear nor respect for Joe Biden. He had just played with him for sport.”

Ten years have past. The two will be together on the world stage. Biden is much diminished and Putin is as sharp as ever.

I don’t imagine this will end well.

Russian Troop Buildup at Ukrainian Border Raises Watch Level to ‘Potential Imminent Crisis’; A Test for Biden?

Advertisements
Photo Credit: Image by Дмитрий Осипенко from Pixabay

Tensions are increasing at the eastern border of Ukraine with Russia according to a Tuesday report in The New York Times. Russian troops had massed at the border ostensibly for training exercises. The military exercises ended on March 23 and not only did the existing troops remain, but they were joined by as many as 4,000 more.

Last week, the sides traded fire for nearly a day, leaving four Ukrainian troops dead and one wounded. The battle occurred in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine and ended a ceasefire which had been in place since last July. The Times notes that over the last week, “the U.S. military’s European Command raised its watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis — the highest level — in response to the deployment of the additional Russian troops.”

The article said the fighting had occurred across the “so-called Line of Contact, a roughly 250-mile-long barricade of trenches and fortifications.”

According to the report:

Ukrainian and the Russian-backed separatist forces have settled into trenches that have barely moved over the seven years since fighting erupted in 2014.

European monitors have spotted new weaponry on the Russian-backed side in recent weeks. Artillery fire has become more frequent. And Russian negotiators have warned of a breakdown in peace talks that have been dragging on for years.

So, what’s happening here? Is Putin testing the new American president or does he have something more serious in mind?

We remember Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 all too well. When the Ukrainian president asked then-President Obama for military assistance, he was refused. Instead, the Ukrainian troops received supplies.

In a Washington Post op-ed at the time, the late conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer wrote: “Why did we deny Ukraine weapons? Because in the Barack Obama-John Kerry worldview, arming the victim might be taken as a provocation. This kind of mind-bending illogic has marked the administration’s response to the whole Crimea affair.”

Military officials told the Times that “Putin has not been afraid to use military exercises near Ukraine’s borders or deployments of troops to send messages to both Kyiv and the West.”

Frederick B. Hodges, a former top U.S. Army commander in Europe said, “This could be posturing, but the Kremlin is testing the new administration.” Hodges said Putin “wants to keep the country as destabilized as possible.”

Shortly after taking office, President Biden spoke to Putin and said he was committed to “Ukrainian sovereignty.” However, Biden has not spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yet. Perhaps Putin is trying to determine how committed Biden really is to Ukraine.

The Times does report that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke to one of Zelensky’s top advisers, Andriy Yermak, this week. Biden called in the heavy hitters.

Putin knows that Biden is weak. The whole world knows it. During a recent interview, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if he thought Putin was a killer. He replied, “Uh-huh. I do.”

Putin took swift action. He immediately recalled Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov. He then humiliated Biden during an interview on Russian TV by challenging him to a live streamed debate, which Biden refused saying he was “too busy.”

Putin wasn’t afraid of Biden when he humiliated him during a state visit to Russia in 2011 (See “Report: White House Stenographer on Biden’s 2011 Trip to Russia, Reveals How Putin Humiliated the Then-VP ‘for Sport’.)

And he’s certainly not afraid of him now. The fallout from Biden’s “tough guy moment” has only just begun.

Report: White House Stenographer on Biden’s 2011 Trip to Russia, Reveals How Putin Humiliated the Then-VP ‘for Sport’

Advertisements
Photo Credit: Image by hafteh7 from Pixabay

 

It might surprise Democrats to know that, despite their best efforts to conceal it, the whole world is aware of President Joe Biden’s cognitive decline. Aside from Chinese President Xi Jinping, perhaps no one is more aware of it than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This is precisely why Biden’s likely embellished recounting of his private conversation with Putin, held during his 2011 state visit to Moscow, was a very bad idea. And the fallout has only just begun.

During Biden’s Tuesday interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, the host remarked, “You said you know he [Putin] doesn’t have a soul.”

Biden answered, “I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, ‘We understand one another.’ It was – I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, ‘I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.’”

Biden continued, according to the transcript: “I said, ‘Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.’ And looked back and he said, ‘We understand each other.’”

“Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re — that — don’t expect him to — or her to — voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.”

“So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?” asked the ABC host, referring to Putin’s treatment of opponents.

“Uh-huh. I do.”

Putin reacted immediately to Biden’s remarks by recalling Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov.

Afterward, in an interview with a Russian state media reporter, Putin suggested that he and Biden should engage in a live televised debate.

“I’ve just thought of this now,” Putin said. “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.”

“I don’t want to put this off for long. I want to go the taiga this weekend to relax a little,” Putin continued. “So we could do it tomorrow or Monday. We are ready at any time convenient for the American side.”

The Russian leader knows that such an event would expose the President to public ridicule which would delight him as much as a separate incident which occurred during Biden’s previously mentioned 2011 state visit to Moscow, had.

This little known episode was not reported by the press at the time. Most of us only learned about it after former White House stenographer Mike McCormick published a book about his six years (2011-2017) spent at Biden’s side as he met with world leaders, delivered speeches and interacted with members of the news media. The book is entitled “Joe Biden Unauthorized: And the 2020 Crackup of the Democratic Party.”

McCormick first revealed this story in September, during an interview with The Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman. He added a good amount of detail in an article published on Thursday by The National Pulse.

It’s important to remember that, contrary to Biden’s current diminished condition, he was at the top of his game in 2011. But even in his prime, Biden was never considered a formidable or even a particularly strong leader. Putin’s lack of respect for the U.S. Vice President was unmistakable, even then.

An entire chapter of McCormick’s book is devoted to this incident. The chapter is entitled “B**ch Slapped in Moscow.”

Ahead of the meeting, McCormick notes that Biden’s staffers had “made a big deal about how Putin really dominated the conversation [with] Obama” during his visit to Russia. They were sure that Biden, because of his “decades of Senate foreign policy experience,” would never allow that to happen.

During a joint news conference with Putin, Biden “launched into a soliloquy about his visits to Russia during the Cold War,” McCormick said. Suddenly, Biden’s microphone was cut off. Then “the press lighting was switched off, and Putin’s aides ushered the media out of the room.”

Biden was saying, “I’ve been around a long time. The first time I was here…”

“And… cut.”

“Joe Biden got about one sentence further into that spiel when off went his microphone, off went the lights for the TV cameras, and stern Russian voices were commanding the press to leave. And leave they did,” McCormick wrote.

He added, “They went out quickly and efficiently, with videocameras popping off of tripods. Equipment snapping shut. Portable lights clattering down retractable poles. No one spoke, and no one dared linger.”

Putin had “publicly humiliated” Biden.

“He basically got body-slammed by Putin, really. I mean, I don’t know how else to describe it,” McCormick told Goodman. “To me it was like, here’s our great foreign policy expert and he just got punk’d. And Vladimir Putin just had no fear or respect for him.”

Unsurprisingly, news of this very public, very deliberate indignity “never made it into media coverage of the trip.”

Recounting this moment in his book, McCormick wrote: “[Putin’s] message was unmistakable: I’m in charge of the room, I’m in charge of my country, and I’m in charge of the reset. As you might imagine, the vice president’s staffers were furious with the Russians. I was instructed to have the transcript reflect how the vice president had been cut off in mid-sentence.”

The official White House transcript reads: “VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: There’s a reason, Mr. Prime Minister. Mr. Prime Minister, I’ve been around a long time. The first time I was here — the second time I was here, I was meeting with President Brezhnev. We were trying to pass SALT II — END”

McCormick described the scene in the immediate aftermath of the snub in his article. “This was Putin in all his KGB ruthlessness. Whether by some prearranged signal or simply an undisclosed time limit, he had pulled the plug and done the unthinkable: he’d stolen Joe Biden’s audience and rendered him speechless. Shut him down in mid-sentence with the flick of an invisible switch.”

“Across the table,” he wrote, “I could see Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, in the now dimly lit room, looking as duped as an exhausted fish in the bottom of a boat. No protest, no complaint. No, hey, I wasn’t finished. Nothing. He was humiliated.”

“To me, the revelation was the premeditated precision of the snub. Putin or his team had likely plotted this all out. They knew exactly what bait to use, exactly how Joe Biden would take it, and then when he did, they reeled him helplessly in.”

“The most powerful man in Russia had neither fear nor respect for Joe Biden. He had just played with him for sport.”

And Biden had allowed Putin to get away with this humiliation.

Perhaps the sting of that moment still resonates within him and may be why he spoke about Putin with such bravado to Stephanopoulos.

It was a serious gaffe. And it drew taunts about his cognitive ability from Putin and anger from his colleagues.

Asked by the state media reporter what he would say to Biden if they were to meet again, Putin said, “With regard to my U.S. colleague’s remark, we have, indeed, as he said, met in person. What would I tell him? I would say ‘stay healthy.’ I wish him good health. I say that without any irony, without jokes.”

ABC reported that Kremlin officials were angry when Biden told Stephanopoulos that Russia “would pay a price” for tampering with the 2020 election.

Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that “Biden’s words had confirmed for them that Biden has no interest in improving relations with Russia,” according to ABC.

Peskov said, “I’ll say only that these remarks by the U.S. president are very bad. He definitely doesn’t want to normalize relations with our country. And we’ll be acting based precisely on this premise.”

Biden, who has been prone to gaffes throughout his entire political career has just had his first major lesson as President that words matter.

Biden Calls Putin a Killer During Interview; May Have Caused ‘Irreversible Degradation’ to US/Russian Relationship

Advertisements

Smart diplomacy?

Or perhaps another Corn Pop moment?

During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, President Joe Biden shifted into his familiar “tough guy” mode.

Stephanopoulos referenced the dubious report from the Director of National Intelligence that had been released earlier in the day. The document stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin had interfered in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by trying to “denigrate you [Biden], support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society.” He asked Biden, “What price must he pay?”

“He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well,” replied Biden. “And I — the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.'”

Stephanopoulos noted, “You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.”

The President answered, “I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, ‘We understand one another.’ It was– I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, ‘I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.'”

Biden continued. “I said, ‘Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.’ And looked back and he said, ‘We understand each other.’ Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re — that — don’t expect him to — or her to — voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.”

“So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?” asked the ABC host.

“Uh-huh. I do.”

“So what price must he pay?”

Biden responded, “The price he’s gonna pay we’ll — you’ll see shortly. I’m not gonna — there’s — by the way, we oughta be able that ol’ — that trite expression ‘walk and chew gum at the same time,’ there’re places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.”

“That’s why I renewed the START agreement with him. That occurred while he’s doin’ this. But that’s overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity, that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange. But that and SolarWinds as well. He’s been — they’ve done some mischievous things, to say the least. And so we’re gonna have — I’m not gonna announce what I’m doing, but he’s gonna understand that — .”

Were these comments planned as most questions and answers are for Biden these days or did the President recklessly decide to improvise?

Putin wasted no time in immediately recalling the Russian Ambassador,

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova issued a statement which said the ambassador had “been invited to Moscow for consultations, to determine the prospects of the future relationship with Washington.”

It continued. “The new American administration has been in power for two months, and a symbolic 100-day anniversary is just around the corner, which is an appropriate milestone to try and assess what the Biden team is successful in, and what it’s not.”

The statement acknowledged that relations with the U.S. “are in a difficult state, which Washington has brought to a dead end in recent years. We are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if the Americans are aware of the associated risks.”

According to Sputnik News, “Zakharova stressed Moscow’s intention to work out possible ways of improving the relationship that ‘Washington has itself sent into a stalemate in recent years.'”

In the text message below, Russian politician Alexey Pushkov responded to the incident (via RedState):

“The Russian ambassador to Washington has been summoned to Moscow for consultations – in response to Biden’s insulting attack on Putin. This is an exceptional step in diplomacy, the next is the recall of the ambassador and the lowering of the level of diplomatic relations. Moscow is clearly determined to reassess the entire set of relations with the United States.”

Sputnik reported that, in a Wednesday telephone briefing, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter was asked if the Biden Administration planned to recall the ambassador to Russia. He answered, “We have nothing to comment on that.”

Biden can’t make threats like this and not expect Russia to look after its own interests. As the most powerful country in Europe and a major force across Asia and the Middle East, Russia plays a significant role in world politics. Although Russia has transgressed against us, they are also a partner to us in some key areas. Going after Putin personally like this is virtually guaranteed to upset him and worsen relations.

There’s no issue with retaliation against Putin and Russia, but Biden better have an effective plan in mind that avoids escalation or he risks killing diplomatic ties with a crucial partner.

There’s no doubt that Putin is a dangerous man. But America currently faces a far greater and more powerful threat in Asia that Biden appears to underestimate. If only he would stand up to Xi Jinping and stop making excuses for his abuses and actions.

Is there a reason for that? Mr. President?