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Biden aide responds to Putin endorsement

White House representative John Kirby did not appreciate the Russian president’s praise

Russia should stay away from US elections altogether, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House after Russian President Vladimir Putin praised his US counterpart Joe Biden.

In an interview with a Russian journalist on Wednesday, Putin said he would prefer if Biden won the November election, as he is more experienced and predictable. 

“I think Mr. Biden – no, I’m sorry, I think Mr. Putin knows very well what this administration has been doing to counter Russia’s malign influence around the world and certainly what they’ve been doing inside Ukraine,” Kirby said at the White House on Thursday, answering a question about the Russian leader’s apparent endorsement. 

“Mr. Putin should just stay out of our elections,” Kirby added.

The retired US Navy admiral has previously spoken on behalf of the State Department and the Pentagon, before coming to the White House as the spokesman for Biden’s National Security Council. He often briefs reporters on foreign policy matters, leaving domestic politics to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with journalist Pavel Zarubin.
‘Polite’ Carlson, ‘our guy’ Blinken, backing Biden: Putin weighs in on US politics

Putin seemed to endorse Biden in a sit-down with Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin in Moscow. When asked about the impending US elections, he said it would be inappropriate for Russia to meddle in what was an internal American matter. When Zarubin asked whether he would prefer to see Biden or his rival Donald Trump in the White House, however, Putin answered directly.

“Biden. He is a more experienced and predictable person, he is a politician of the old sort. But we will work with any leader who gets the confidence of the American people,” he said.

Putin even made excuses for Biden’s alleged cognitive impairments, saying he didn’t see any sign of this when they met in Geneva in mid-2021.

Biden, 81, has declined to take the cognitive test as part of his annual medical examination. Earlier this week, a special prosecutor investigating his illegal retention of classified documents from when he was Barack Obama’s vice-president described Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory,” unlikely to be convicted by a Washington, DC jury.

February 16, 2024 at 09:34PM

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