Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden traded jabs this week after U.S. intelligence agencies released a declassified report stating the Kremlin had interfered — again — with a presidential election.
“He will pay a price,” Biden said of Putin in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that aired Wednesday evening. The president didn’t elaborate on what that price may be, according to ABC News, but Biden said he had already warned Putin there would be consequences for interfering with an American election.
Stephanopoulos asked Biden if he thought Vladimir Putin was a “killer.”
“Mmm hmm, I do,” Biden answered, according to ABC News.
“The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in August. Navalny has said Putin is responsible for nearly killing him; the Kremlin has denied it has any connection to the toxic attack. After recovering in Germany for five months, Navalny returned to Russia in January and was immediately jailed,” reported The Washington Post.
Putin responded to Biden’s “killer” accusation Thursday by using a “Russian schoolyard expression” that translates roughly to “I know you are, but what am I?” according to the Post. In his comments, Putin mentions America’s history of slavery and the killing of Native Americans, the Post reported.
On Tuesday, American intelligence agencies released a declassified version of a report they gave the White House and congressional leaders in January on their findings of foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, The New York Times reports.
In five “key judgements” listed by the intelligence agencies, it was determined that Putin had “authorized extensive efforts to hurt the candidacy of Joseph R. Biden Jr. during the election last year, including by mounting covert operations to influence people close to President Donald J. Trump,” according to the Times.
The intelligence agencies also found there was “no indication that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspects of the voting process” and that “unlike in 2016, we did not see persistent Russian cyber efforts to gain access to election infrastructure.”
Russia also announced that Anatoly Antonov, its ambassador to the United States, will return to Moscow to “to discuss ways to rectify Russia-U.S. ties that are in crisis,” according to The Washington Post.
“The current situation is a result of the deliberate policy of Washington that during the past years was making steps to bring — in essence, intentionally — our bilateral interaction into a deadlock,” the Russian Embassy said in a statement, the Post reported.