Yesterday, I previewed the phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President/Dictator Vladimir Putin. We had been informed in advance of some of the main talking points Biden allegedly planned to address, but how he was going to handle the cantankerous Russian when he inevitably stonewalled him remained a mystery. Well, the call took place on schedule and the White House provided an update. Sadly, not much detail was provided. It’s really amazing how Biden seems to be able to have a strategically critical call such as this one without anything leaking out immediately, unlike many of Trump’s calls that wound up on the front page of the New York Times via “unnamed sources” before the parties had hung up. But between a few sources both in America and Europe, we’re at least getting some sense of what went on. (WaPo)
President Biden laid out a bill of complaint against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, airing allegations of human rights abuses, cyberspying and more while making a hard pivot away from the deference that former president Donald Trump often displayed toward Russia.
The phone call less than a week into Biden’s term was his first known contact with an adversarial foreign leader. It came as the United States has joined European nations and others in condemning the detention of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and after a crackdown on street protests.
Biden’s agenda for the call included protest of “ongoing Russian aggression” against Ukraine, and he confronted Putin over the “Solar Winds” espionage case, alleged interference in U.S. elections and the alleged offer to pay bounties for the deaths of U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Take note of the last four words in that excerpt from the WaPo. “Jen Psaki said Tuesday.” That’s where the Washington Post (along with everyone else) got their “impressions” or “descriptions” of the call. The Post paints a glowing picture of our tough-guy president reading Putin the riot act on the same list of subjects I previewed yesterday. Now let’s contrast that with the report on the call issued by the Kremlin.