Putin laughs when asked by NBC reporter if he’s a ‘killer’
Russian President Vladimir Putin laughed when he was asked by an NBC News reporter if he was a “killer,” a term used by President Biden and others to describe him.
“Mr. President, are you a killer?” NBC reporter Keir Simmons asked in an interview with Putin ahead of his first meeting with Biden since the U.S. president took office.
Putin laughed at the question before responding, “Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext and reasons and at different caliber and fierceness, and none of it surprises me.”
When pressed for an answer, Putin avoided the question, saying, “Sentiments in terms of who calls someone what kind of labels, this is not something I worry about in the least.”
The question came after Biden said in an ABC News interview in March that he believed Putin was a “killer.”
Russia at the time warned of a response and demanded that Biden apologize for his remark, though Putin himself said the comments do not bother him.
The two have their first meeting next week. Biden is expected to press Putin on cyberattacks from Russian groups, Ukraine and the treatment of jailed Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny, among other issues.