Not-President Greenscreen has been reading some tough lines about the Russian leader. But the historical reality is just a little bit different:
I documented what happened at Joe Biden’s one and only meeting with Vladimir Putin in my book Joe Biden Unauthorized. I can attest that the title of my chapter on the incident – Bitch Slapped in Moscow – is the actual truth.
Biden got bitch slapped, and he’s pretending he didn’t.
Putin knows what happened. He was there. He knows he compromised Joe Biden, who appeared unprepared to deal with the ruthless, former-KGB agent. Regardless, Joe continues to perpetuate his “I was the tough guy” lie.
As Joe Biden’s White House stenographer, I stood directly behind Putin at a distance of five feet. Biden, seated across from Putin at an elegant conference table, was about 12 feet from me.
About 10 minutes into the meeting, Vice President Biden attempted to start lecturing about his decades-old part in U.S.-Russian negotiations with the dreaded phrase, “I’ve been around a long time. The first time I was here…”
Joe Biden got about one sentence further into that spiel when off went his microphone, off went the lights for the TV cameras, and stern Russian voices were commanding the press to leave. And leave they did.
They went out quickly and efficiently, with videocameras popping off of tripods. Equipment snapping shut. Portable lights clattering down retractable poles. No one spoke, and no one dared linger.
This was Putin in all his KGB ruthlessness. Whether by some prearranged signal or simply an undisclosed time limit, he had pulled the plug and done the unthinkable: he’d stolen Joe Biden’s audience and rendered him speechless. Shut him down in mid-sentence with the flick of an invisible switch.
Across the table, I could see Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, in the now dimly lit room, looking as duped as an exhausted fish in the bottom of a boat. No protest, no complaint. No, hey, I wasn’t finished. Nothing. He was humiliated.
To me, the revelation was the premeditated precision of the snub. Putin or his team had likely plotted this all out. They knew exactly what bait to use, exactly how Joe Biden would take it, and then when he did, they reeled him helplessly in.
The Russian President and his delegation sat calmly and coldly as their American counterparts realized their blustery leader’s big moment had been stolen right out from under him. The most powerful man in Russia had neither fear nor respect for Joe Biden. He had just played with him for sport.
Putin knows. He knows a lot more about what’s actually going on than we do.