‘What the hell?’ Biden snaps at female CNN reporter asking about his ‘confidence’ in Putin – then says he’s sorry (VIDEO)
US President Joe Biden has apologized for being a “wise guy” after he grew irritable with Kaitlan Collins questioning him on his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As Biden was wrapping up a press conference at the Hotel du Parc in Geneva, he stopped to answer a question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins about meeting with Putin and his “confidence” that the Russian president will “change his behavior.”
“I'm not confident I'm going to change his behavior. What the hell? What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?” Biden said, growing visibly irritated and walking back to center-stage to continue his presser.
While this “behavior” was not specifically mentioned, Biden went on to say that Putin may alter his ways if “the rest of the world reacts” and “diminishes their standing in the world.”
Pres. Biden has testy exchange with CNN's Kaitlan Collins:"Why are you so confident [Vladimir Putin] will change his behavior, Mr. President?""I'm not confident he’s going to change his behavior. What the hell?! What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?" pic.twitter.com/avilzHqguz— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 16, 2021
Biden’s exchange with Collins quickly spread across social media, with critics accusing the president of acting aggressively towards a female reporter, something many said would make more of a stir with activists and the media if the president were not a Democrat.
Joe Biden was tougher with Kaitlan Collins than he was with Vladimir Putin.— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) June 16, 2021
Here's Joe Biden SNAPPING on a CNN reporter for simply asking a question.I'm old enough to remember when this would be an "attack on the free press." pic.twitter.com/MQTZiX96VT— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 16, 2021
Really bizarre reaction to a good question from @kaitlancollins.Biden's remarks up to that point had been about exuding confidence that they had made progress.Asking for more info on why Biden thinks this summit was valuable is not at all outlandish. https://t.co/yJdXn4QtQL— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 16, 2021
More liberal activists who are typically quick to defend journalists and women, however, pushed back against outrage and blamed Collins for seemingly misquoting Biden.
“FUN FACT: The former guy NEVER apologized to Kaitlan Collins, or any of the reporters he repeatedly berated. Real Presidents do real things,” liberal pundit Majid Padellan tweeted.
It would've served Biden better to not lose his temper with Kaitlan Collins. But the problem with her question is she put words in Biden's mouth that he didn't say. Biden never expressed confidence that Putin would change his behavior.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 16, 2021
That wasn’t anger, that was annoyance because Kaitlan Collins — and I generally love her work — misquoted him. He also destroyed Peter Doocy again, which I’ll never get tired of. https://t.co/DIuO8lODH0— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) June 16, 2021
President Biden apologized for getting upset with Kaitlan Collins.Kaitlan Collins did NOT apologize for blatantly mischaracterizing what Biden said.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) June 16, 2021
Even CNN didn’t have much to say about Biden’s behavior in a segment with national security correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
Biden did later apologize for his behavior though, claiming he should not have been a “wise guy” with Collins.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy, the last answer I gave,” he later told reporters at the Geneva airport, adding he was “short” with Collins and that “good” reporters have to have “a negative view of life,” leading to Collins’ question on Putin. Though he apologized, Biden accused the media of constantly putting a “negative thrust” in their questions to him.
“It makes no sense for me to negotiate with you. It makes no sense for me to tell you what I'm about to do. Not because I want to hide anything from you. Why would I tell you about that?” he said.
Biden tells reporters after they push him for details on negotiations with Putin: "It makes no sense for me to negotiate with you. It makes no sense for me to tell you what I'm about to do. Not because I want to hide anything from you. Why would I tell you about that?" pic.twitter.com/x4ahALUN25— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 16, 2021
Collins reportedly accepted the apology, leading to a wave of criticism for her from more conservative social media users, some of whom accused her of having “Stockholm Syndrome” with the president.
Just doing her job? if Trump had done this - she would have been screaming https://t.co/5o3dpv6mZm— jojo (@ginger_consult2) June 16, 2021
He put her in a tough spot. If she stands up for herself too aggressively the partisans will attack her. https://t.co/Ttc6tuM1hM— Neil Stevens (@presjpolk) June 16, 2021
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