Biden apologizes for lashing out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins after question on Putin’s behavior

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pressed President Joe Biden on why he is confident Russian President Vladimir Putin will change his behavior following the leaders’ meeting in a sharp, confrontational exchange.

Biden turned around after Collins finished her question to respond. 

“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior. Where the hell – what do you do all the time. When did I say I was confident?” he asked, walking back toward reporters.

He continued, “What I said was, ‘let’s get it straight – I said, what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything. I’m just stating a fact.”

Collins noted that Putin denied involvement in cyberattacks, downplayed human rights abuses, and refused to say Alexey Navalny’s name during his press conference, and how he could be sure that anything would change with the Russian leader. 

Biden responded, “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.”

He did not answer her question as he departed the stage. 

Later, before boarding Air Force One, President Joe Biden apologized to Collins for his answer at the press conference. 

“I owe my last questioner an apology. I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with the last answer I gave,” he said.

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