President Joe Biden on Wednesday got into a verbal sparring match with Alabama native and CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins over Biden’s approach to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The exchange between Biden and Collins took place while Biden was attending a summit with the Russian leader in Geneva, Switzerland, and ended with the leader of the free world wagging his finger scoldingly at the University of Alabama graduate and telling her that she was “in the wrong business.”
During a brief press avail, Collins asked Biden about his previously stated confidence in getting Putin to make concessions regarding Russia’s track record of bad behavior both at home and abroad.
Transcript of the back and forth between Biden and Collins as follows:
COLLINS: Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?
BIDEN: Yeah, I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior. What the hell? What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?
COLLINS: You said in the next six months you would be able to determine that.
BIDEN: What I said, what I said was, let’s get it straight. What I said what will change their behavior is the rest of the world reacts to them and diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything, I’m just stating the facts.
COLLINS: But given his past behavior has not changed, and in that press conference after sitting down with you for several hours, he denied any involvement in cyberattacks, he downplayed human rights abuses, he even refused to say Alexei Navalny’s name, so how does that account to a constructive meeting as president, President Putin framed it?
BIDEN: If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.
Interactions between Biden and his administration could thus far be classified more easily as cordial rather than challenging in nature, so the exchange between Collins and Biden today was noteworthy.
The exchange instantly sparked discussion on social media.
“If you don’t understand that,” Biden tells a reporter pushing him to explain how it was a constructive meeting with Putin if he still denies human rights abuses and cyber attacks, “you’re in the wrong business.”
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) June 16, 2021
In the days leading up to the summit, Time magazine received criticism for its heroic portrayal of Biden on its cover. That portrayal has been contrasted with its depiction of former President Donald Trump under similar circumstances.
Joe Concha, media columnist for The Hill, remarked that the two magazine covers revealed something significant about the media’s approach to the two administrations.
“If I’m teaching a class in media bias, I’m putting this at the top of the syllabus,” said Concha during an appearance on Fox News. “This is all you need to know about not even bias but it’s activism.”
Watch Concha’s full reaction here:
Collins, a Prattville native and member of Yellowhammer’s D.C. Power and Influence list, was promoted to her current role for the network earlier this year.
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia