At a moment US mainstream media can't decide whether to praise or criticize Joe Biden's Wednesday summit with Vladimir Putin, press tensions which were made evident and symbolized in Biden's little end of press conference blow-up at CNN's Kaitlan Collins - the latter who apparently wasn't satisfied with the lack of Putin-bashing from the US president's mouth - Putin has on Thursday characterized the talks as "friendly".
Putin gave his own personal recap of interactions with Biden while speaking at an event at Russia's Higher School of Public Administration, saying "That portrait of President Biden drawn by our media and even the US media has nothing to do with reality," according to state sources.
"For our part, we will defend our interests. We are ready to continue this dialogue as far as the American side is ready," Putin said.
He presented the Wednesday summit as hugely important because "when people do not speak at all, more and more mutual claims and concerns arise where they otherwise would not exist."
Putin appears to have expected a much sleepier Joe Biden than what he got, and expressed surprise over it...
Characterizing the American leader as a "professional" and saying that Russia needs to work with him "very carefully so as not to miss anything," Putin said Biden looked very energetic at the talks despite the long distances he had traveled to be at the summit, and noted that during their hours of face-to-face talks, the US president showed himself to be in command of the issues at hand. Putin added that the atmosphere at the negotiations was sufficiently friendly.
The Russian leader expressed further that the two reached an "understanding" on what their mutual key issues are, with the further hope that "there will not be a repeat of what happened in previous years, and that he is allowed to work in peace," according to the Russian president's remarks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his meeting with President Biden in Switzerland on Wednesday was hostility-free, adding that "on the contrary … it was very constructive." Putin described Biden as a "balanced and professional man, and it's clear that he's very experienced," and said "it seems to me that we did speak the same language." — The Week
Through much of the day CNN seemed to awkwardly be in coping mode... unsure of just how to characterize the summit, though disappointment seeped through every segment:
CNN's Jeff Zeleny right after President Biden snapped at CNN's Kaitlan Collins:— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 16, 2021
"He certainly he was comfortable in that moment, taking off his jacket, answering they questions from top foreign policy reporters in the audience that he doesn’t always call on." pic.twitter.com/1n6bBQrXvq
Biden snaps at CNN reporter for asking about meeting with Putin pic.twitter.com/HerUH11dDW— The First (@TheFirstonTV) June 16, 2021
Reading between the lines, it seems that ironically both the Kremlin and American media expected a much more contentious meeting, given hyped reports that Biden was preparing to give Putin a tongue lashing and intense public haranguing. This is part of the wishful thinking "portrait" that the MSM painted; but instead they got a Biden who calmly spoke of "pragmatic gains" based on mutual clear understanding and cooperation.
CNN commentary on Thursday reveals this deep dissatisfaction over how things went, in contrast to both the Russian and US sides admitting "friendly" and amicable interaction.
"Putin gave no indication that the two leaders' first face-to-face meeting on Wednesday had compelled a change of heart," CNN writes. "No number of friendly words, it seems, will stop the Russian leader from continuing to forcefully pursue his political agenda both at home in Russia and abroad with near total impunity."
Recall that in the month before Wednesday's summit, Biden lifted sanctions on the German company overseeing the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline...
The reason Putin didn't have a smug when he met Biden today is because he's exhausted from two straight weeks of celebratory festivities that erupted after Biden decided to stop trying to block completion of Russia's natural gas pipeline to Germany. https://t.co/HggS7ldqpm— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 16, 2021
Given to their disappointment Biden did not say this, and didn't go far enough in personal denunciations and condemnations of Putin, the US pundit class appears to still be struggling in terms of just how positively it's willing to present the Biden-Putin summit.
The Washington Post Editorial Page chides Joe Biden for being too soft on Putin, giving him too much benefit of the doubt, and failing to stand up to him the way his evil merited. https://t.co/XV7TOqfA3C— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 17, 2021
Certainly the fact that Putin himself is now hailing the "friendly" dialogue means continued salt on the MSM wound.