Biden calls Putin a 'crazy SOB'

General |Author: AFP | February 23, 2024, Friday @ 07:13| 2482 views

US President Joe Biden speaks during an event to announce that his Administration has approved $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers at the Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, California, on February 21, 2024. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

US President Joe Biden called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a "crazy SOB" at a reelection fundraising event, earning a sarcastic response Thursday from the Kremlin leader.

Biden, 81, has regularly had harsh words for Putin since Moscow's invasion of neighboring Ukraine two years ago, including calling him a "butcher" and a "war criminal."

And late Wednesday he was no less direct -- although more personal.

"We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin, and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is climate," Biden said in remarks to a group of supporters in San Francisco.

Biden has said the United States will announce a package of additional sanctions Friday against Russia over the death in prison of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Putin responded with his trademark sarcasm, referring to his recent remark that he would prefer the more "predictable" Biden over Donald Trump in the White House.

"He can't of course say to me: Volodya, well done, thank you (for the endorsement), you've helped me a lot?" Putin said

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Biden's invective was "a huge shame for the country itself... for the US."

"If a president uses that kind of language, it's shameful," he said. "It is clear that Mr Biden is demonstrating Hollywood cowboy-style behavior to serve domestic political interests."

In a hot-mic slip in January 2022, Biden similarly called a Fox News journalist a "son of a bitch," the longer form of the insult he aimed at Putin. He later called the reporter to apologize.

In an interview with ABC News in March 2021, Biden was asked if he thought Putin was "a killer". He replied: "I do."

Moscow recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations, and Putin retorted that it "takes one to know one."

In a speech from the Oval Office on October 20, 2023, Biden compared Palestinian militant group Hamas and Putin, saying they "both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy."

"We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen," he said.

The Kremlin denounced the remarks as "unacceptable."

At the San Francisco fundraising event, Biden also attacked his presumed November election rival Trump for comparing his legal woes to the fate of Navalny.

"If I stood here 10 to 15 years ago and said all this, you'd all think I should be committed," Biden said.

© Agence France-Presse


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