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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden was criticized on Wednesday after not holding a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after their four-hour summit in Geneva, Switzerland, essentially allowing Putin free reign to criticize the United States and spread falsehoods unchecked, reports say.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was especially critical of Biden, saying that not taking questions along with Putin showed “enormous weakness.”
“The fact that you are not prepared to stand six or eight feet from your adversary and tell the world what you talked about, the things you care about, and why you care about them, shows an enormous weakness,” he said.
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White House officials turned down the idea of a joint presser, claiming that they didn’t want Biden to fall into a “PR trap” on the part of Putin, who is a former KGB officer.
Instead, the Russian leader held a solo press event, where he claimed that the U.S. is “hypocritical” and essentially flipped accusations made against his country in regards to cybercrime, human rights, and Ukraine.
While announcing that he had reached an agreement with Biden over reducing global cybercrime, Putin then claimed that the United States is responsible for far more cybercrime than Russia, ignoring the many accusations of his country’s hacking of American elections, markets and – most recently – the Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods, causing widespread gas and meat shortages last month.
“We’re going to start consultations. What we think is, when it comes to cybersecurity, cybersecurity is incredibly important in the world in general,” Putin said, who then went on to claim “that most of the cyberattacks in the world are carried out from the cyber realm of the United States, and certainly places [like] Canada afterwards.”
He also took questions on human rights from reporters regarding how his country has treated dissidents in Ukraine, as well as the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Putin responded by claiming that the that hundreds of Donald Trump supporters that are being prosecuted for the January 6 riots at the Capitol Building and the existence of the Black Lives Matter movement “proves” that the U.S. is more guilty of human rights violations than Russia.
The U.S. “recently had very severe events… after the killing of an African American and an entire movement developed known as Black Lives Matter,” Putin said.