- Joe Biden said in a sit-down with ABC News that aired Wednesday morning that Russia would pay for interfering in the 2020 U.S. election
- ‘He will pay a price,’ Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him a ‘killer’ with no soul
- Biden’s Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines found the Kremlin did not target U.S. election infrastructure in 2020
- Said they found no attempts ‘to alter any technical aspect of the voting process’
- But it found that Russians were responsible for ‘denigrating President Biden’s candidacy’ in support of former President Donald Trump
- Biden’s interview with ABC was only the second of his presidency
Russia has recalled its ambassador to the U.S. in a dramatic escalation in the fraught relations between the two powers – after President Joe Biden referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a ‘killer.’
The move comes after the White House has spent weeks telegraphing a tougher posture toward Russia under a Biden administration – and Moscow has once again bristled at accusations that it serves as a ‘malign’ influence in global affairs.
Fueling the rising tensions is a startling new assessment by U.S. intelligence that lays out Russia’s campaign to influence the 2020 elections – on the heels of the Treasury Department slapping sanctions on officials as retaliation for the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny with a chemical agent. Among those hit with sanctions was the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the FSB.
The extraordinary move by Moscow – a gesture undertaken by nations wishing to send a serious diplomatic signal – came after Biden not only ripped into Putin but vowed the Russian strongman would ‘pay a price.’
It was just the latest time when the new Biden team has sought to draw a sharp line on Russia distinguishing it from former President Donald Trump – who repeatedly praised Putin and even appeared to take Putin’s side when he denied allegations of election interference during their infamous summit in Helsinki.