Yesterday, President Trump wished President Biden a pleasant meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump told Biden “Good luck” in an email announcement, also advising Biden not to fall asleep during his Geneva summit this coming Wednesday as part of a series of diplomatic stops across Europe this week. It’s sure to be one for the books.
Coming off the heels of Vice President Harris’s bumpy and humbling trip to Central America, where she was met with angry protesters and subsequently scolded by Guatemala’s own presidential during their meeting, Biden is now going through the political motions. This meeting with Putin, not unlike Harris’s trip to Guatemala, is already ladened with rhetorical landmines. Russia, of course, had been cast as President Trump’s primary benefactor by Biden and his backers despite all findings to the contrary.
Biden did himself few favors back in March in regards to Russian diplomacy: While calling the ex-KGB President Putin a “killer” was not entirely inaccurate, it sets a poor tone for future talks, and can even harm your own image by appearing willing to negotiate with a “killer”. President Trump faced such criticism during his progress on the Korean peninsula; progress that has since been squandered in Trump’s absence as peace talks have ceased.
In the wake of Biden’s “killer” comments earlier in the spring, President Putin followed up with an invitation t Biden to a live debate to discuss the matter without delays or edits. It was an offer that anyone in Biden’s inner circle (or anyone who’s ever seen Biden speak unscripted) knew could not be accepted. Biden’s gaffe-prone speaking habits – habits that were not present even 5 years ago – would not have served Biden’s positions well.
In fact, it is now being rumored that Biden and Putin will not even be holding a joint press conference following the summit.