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Biden Confirms What He Thinks of Putin

A killer? 'Mmm hmm'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 17, 2021 9:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Biden says that it will be "tough" for the US to meet a May 1 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The deadline to end America's longest war six weeks from now was set under an agreement reached by former President Trump and the Taliban, without the buy-in of the Afghan government. The Trump deal caught some American allies off guard, reports the AP, as the roughly 7,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan rely on the US for logistics and security support. Biden, in an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that aired Wednesday, said "that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the president, the former president worked out. We’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision is in process now." Of meeting the May 1 deadline, he said it "could happen, but it is tough." If the deadline is extended, he added, it won’t be by "a lot longer." More from the interview:

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  • On Russian election meddling: When asked about a report released Tuesday that determined Russia tried to sway the 2020 election in Trump's favor, Biden said of Putin, "He will pay a price." He referenced a late January call with the Russian president in which "we had a long talk, he and I ... I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, 'I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared."
  • On Putin: Stephanopoulos then posed the question: "So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he's a killer?" Biden's reply: "Mmm hmm, I do."
  • On Andrew Cuomo: Biden was asked about the mounting sexual harassment allegations against the New York governor. "If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign?" said Stephanopoulos. "Yes," said Biden. "I think he'll probably end up being prosecuted, too."
  • On migrants: "Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don't come over," Biden said in reference to swelling number of migrants at the US southern border. "Don't leave your town or city or community," he added.
  • On the vaccine: Biden made clear he doesn't get the lingering resistance to it. "I just don't understand this sort of macho thing about, 'I'm not gonna get the vaccine. I have a right as an American, my freedom to not do it.' Well, why don't you be a patriot? Protect other people."
(Read more Afghanistan war stories.)

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