White House Shrugs Off Debate Challenge: Biden Will Meet Putin “When Time Is Right”
Just before the dramatic and deeply concerning stumble up the stairs footage in which Biden appeared to nearly injure himself trying to board Air Force One, the president was asked by reporters about Vladimir Putin’s debate challenge issued the evening before, to which he responded, “I’m sure we’ll talk at some point.”
The White House meanwhile issued a statement Friday saying that Biden will meet with Russia’s leader “when the time is right”. However, it’s increasingly looking like a ‘live’ debate scenario with the much nimbler 68-year old Putin is a thing that could have only been contemplated in years past. And on the question of whether sanctions are coming on Russia, Biden said “that’ll come in time”.
Yesterday vs today… pic.twitter.com/N4FIR7yEGs
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) March 19, 2021
“I’ve just thought of this now,” Putin had told a Russian state television reporter Thursday in response to Biden’s ABC interview wherein he agreed Putin is “a killer” with “no soul”…
“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.”
It appears Putin was serious about a live TV debate:
“I don’t want to put this off for long. I want to go the taiga this weekend to relax a little,” Putin said.
“So we could do it tomorrow or Monday. We are ready at any time convenient for the American side.”
NEW: Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin has reacted to Pres. Joe Biden calling him a “killer” by challenging Biden to take part in a conversation with him broadcast live online. https://t.co/8MCcu3y2u5
— ABC News (@ABC) March 18, 2021
The Russian leader also said he wished Biden “good health.”
“I would say to him: ‘Be well.’ I wish him good health. I say that without any irony, without jokes,” Putin said.
Given that it has been over 60 days since President Biden has taken questions in a formal press conference, we highly doubt anyone at the White House would ever entertain such a possibility, and particularly after Friday…
…Leading some online commentators to jokingly question whether Putin’s “good health” wishes a mere less than 24 hours before was in fact a “curse” by the Russian president.
WATCH: US President Joe Biden falls over as he boards Air Force One pic.twitter.com/O8XysfH4n4
— The National (@TheNationalNews) March 19, 2021
The Kremlin also late this week responded to the possibility of a “new Cold War” erupting.
A Russian presidential spokesperson responded when asked about a new Cold War between the two countries: “We, of course, always hope for the best, but are always ready for the worst. As far as Russia is concerned, President Putin has clearly stated his desire to continue ties.”
Fri, 03/19/2021 – 16:40