The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from the Biden-Putin summit

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from the Biden-Putin summit
© Getty Images

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: 

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:


--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: BREAKING: Biden-Putin summit finishes early | Putin says meeting was 'constructive' | Biden to deliver remarks soon | Sights and sounds from the Biden-Putin summit | Biden, Putin shake hands | Tense body language | Russian security shove U.S. press | Tensions boil over negotiations among Dems | Capitol tiptoes back to normality post-pandemic | Cups reopens |  Harris hosts female senators for dinner | Served cheese puffs she made herself



Well, that was quick:

President BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE and Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinIs Ukraine Putin's Taiwan? Democrats find a tax Republicans can support Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on MORE just finished their highly anticipated summit, ending the meeting much faster than had been expected.

What we know: “The Biden-Putin summit has ended, with the official time stamp just about  3 hours and 21 minutes. A White House official says the meetings were actually held together, not the separate breakout session as expected.  Bottom line — a shorter summit than anyone anticipated.” (Via CNN’s Jeff Zeleny

For context: White House officials predicted that the meeting could last for around five hours. 


Russian President Vladimir Putin just spoke with reporters following his meeting with President Biden.

Putin called the meeting ‘constructive’: “There was no hostility,” Putin said about his discussions with Biden. “Quite the contrary.” 

Putin on cyberattacks: The Washington Post’s Matt Viser tweeted that “Vladimir Putin claims most cyberattacks originate from the US and the West, and not from Russia.” 

Livestream of Putin’s remarks   

Photo of the room where Putin spoke with the press


President Biden is scheduled to hold a solo press conference to explain from his perspective what happened during the Putin summit.  

Livestream of Biden’s remarks


It’s Wednesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:


Actual footage of Joe Biden getting ready to rumble:



Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Alex Gangitano, “President Biden kicked off a summit in Geneva with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday with a handshake and a photo opportunity before the two disappeared behind closed doors with high-level U.S. and Russian officials to discuss a range of issues in what was expected to be a tense first meeting between the two presidents.” 

Logistically, how the meeting went down: Biden and Putin first held a bilateral meeting. When that finished, they extended the meeting to a group of American and Russian officials for an expanded bilateral meeting. Details from Politico’s Anita Kumar and Quint Forgey


Yikes: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted, “The only press access at the Biden-Putin summit ended in chaos as several US reporters were left out of the room amid pushing and shoving. TV pool says Russian security ‘pulled on our clothes and shoved us as we tried … to stay.’ Biden's remarks were very difficult to hear.” 

Here’s a photo of the skirmish:  

Press scrum at Biden-Putin summit



And here’s video of reporters getting shoved 

Biden and Putin watched it all go down: Via Politico’s Anita Kumar, here’s a photo of Biden and Putin watching “the media scuffle”: 

What a cool library!: Here’s video of the start of the meeting:

Video of the handshake


Biden, Putin shake hands at beginning of summit



What a beautiful day in Geneva: Here’s a photo from CNN’s Betsy Klein 

And more photos from Geneva: Via The Associated Press’s Jonathan Lemire. Wow, I would love to live there:


Hahaha, amazing


Press surrounds the red carpet at Biden-Putin summit



Throwback: Via CBS News’s Mark Knoller, “Photo-op was also jammed and chaotic at first Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Geneva in 1985.” Photo


Patience is wearing thin these days:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton and Mike Lillis, “Democratic tensions over infrastructure and the Biden agenda showed signs of boiling over Tuesday as one progressive lawmaker after another blasted a bipartisan framework negotiated by centrists in both parties.” 

Where the bipartisan infrastructure package stands: “The scaled-down agreement backed by a bipartisan group of 10 senators appears on life support days after it was announced, with progressives pressuring the White House to move on from bipartisan talks.”  

Where the frustrations come into play: “While Biden has repeatedly said he’d prefer a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, the two parties appear to be far apart over what the proper size of a package should be, or how to pay for it. And progressives in both the Senate and House are losing patience with the process.” 

How this could play out

Meanwhile with the Trump DOJ subpoenas:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Senate Democrats are quickly running into a GOP buzzsaw as they probe the Trump-era Justice Department’s collection of lawmaker records.” 

What’s happening now: “As part of the fierce backlash from Capitol Hill, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee launched a probe this week and are threatening to subpoena former Attorneys General William BarrBill BarrTrump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too MORE and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE if they don’t testify voluntarily. But that effort faces a significant GOP roadblock since Republicans on the Judiciary Committee will need to back any effort to compel documents or testimony from potential witnesses.” 

How this could play out


Capitol Hill is back, baby!:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “Virtual caucus meetings, mask requirements and long, socially distanced votes are officially a thing of the past as Congress — and the U.S. at large — is starting to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“After returning from a three-week recess, House Democrats on Tuesday held their first in-person caucus meeting in more than a year. Lawmakers also returned to Washington this week without having to abide by a universal mask requirement in the House chamber anymore. Masks are now sparse throughout the Capitol complex, among both parties, aside from a few staff and lawmakers who continue to wear them at their own discretion.”

This line made me laugh: “Members of Congress — a notoriously extroverted bunch — are clearly reveling in freely glad-handing and embracing on the floor after months of being told to keep each other at arm’s length.” You can say that again!


Photo from CNN’s Jeremy Herb


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,486,992

U.S. death toll: 600,292 — yup, we have, unfortunately, reached the 600k death threshold. 

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 312 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.14 million doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers:


Okayyyy, I’m going to need that recipe ASAP:


Cheese puffs




Vice President Harris hosted female senators for dinner in her residence. “CNN … reported that Harris had invited all 24 female senators -- 16 Democrats and eight Republicans.” 

Photos from the dinner

Including a look at the menu: It appears that they were served roasted mahi-mahi and warm strawberry-rhubarb croustades. Yum — here’s the full menu:

There is *a lot* going on in this photo:


California reopens




The House and Senate are in. President Biden is finishing his stop in Geneva, Switzerland. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.  

3:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief. 

7:10 a.m. EDT: President Biden met with Swiss President Guy Parmelin

7:35 a.m. EDT: President Biden meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

11:15 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris met with members of the Texas state senate and Texas House of Representatives. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: Two roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today 

2 – 3:45 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today

3:15 p.m. EDT: Possibly two more roll call votes in the Senate. 

11 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House.


1:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden held a news conference from Geneva, Switzerland. Livestream Op-ed: 

2:30 p.m. EDT: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference. Livestream


Today is National Fudge Day!

And because this made me laugh, here’s a monkey with too much going on today: 


Monkey with green beans