Vladimir Putin sat down with NBC News for his first on-camera interview with a western news agency in more than three years.
Putin avoided public commentary during much of the Trump Administration, but less than six months into the Biden Administration he came out swinging at Biden and the US on a host of issues.
Putin spoke for nearly an hour and a half as Biden met with the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, from which Russia was suspended in 2014 after it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
This interview was carefully orchestrated by Putin to follow along after Biden’s disastrous public appearances at the G7 and NATO Summits. Putin was not going to allow any demonstration of “unity” coming out of Biden’s first foreign trip to be the only press story ahead of his meetings with Biden.
For the most part defiant, and in some instances just plain trolling the Biden Administration, Putin showed the citizens of this country, using NBC News, why it is he’s going to wipe the floor with addle-minded Joe Biden as long as he remains in the White House.
“Did you order the assassination of the woman who walked into the Congress and who was shot and killed by a policeman?” Mr Putin said, referring to Ashli Babbitt, a California woman who died during the riot after being shot by a member of US Capitol Police, who was cleared of wrongdoing in her death.
“Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? And they didn’t go there to steal a laptop. They came with political demands,” said Mr Putin.
The US, he reasoned, was guilty of the same intolerance for political dissent as his government has been accused of harbouring.
Putting aside for the moment his reference to the death of Ashli Babbitt, his broader point regarding January 6 being a political protest that Democrats have demonized for political advantage is not inaccurate. Yes, some number of individuals — mixed in with the thousands there only to protest — came to the Capitol on January 6 prepared to undertake violent action if
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