President Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin “will pay a price” for his efforts to undermine the 2020 US election following a landmark American intelligence assessment which found that the Russian government meddled in the 2020 election with the aim of “denigrating” Biden’s candidacy.
“He will pay a price,” Mr Biden said of Mr Putin in an interview that aired on Wednesday on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’. “We had a long talk, he and I, and relatively well. And the conversation started – ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, be prepared.'” Mr Biden held his first call with Putin in late January.
The White House said at the time that Mr Biden confronted the Russian president on a number of issues, including Moscow’s interference in the 2020 US presidential elections, the massive Solarwinds cyberattack, the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and reports of Russian bounties on American troops serving in Afghanistan.
When interviewer George Stephanopoulos asked Mr Biden if he thought Mr Putin was “a killer,” the President said, “Mhmm. I do.”
“The price he’s going to pay, well, you’ll see shortly,” Mr Biden continued.
“There are places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together. That’s why I renewed the START agreement with him. That occurred while he’s doing this, but that’s overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange.”
The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an assessment on Tuesday about foreign threats to the 2020 US federal elections.
The assessment found that Russia pursued efforts aimed at “denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Donald Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US.