President Biden apologized for losing his temper with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during a press conference Wednesday after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The reporter asked why the president was “so confident” that Putin “will change his behavior.”
Biden, who was already walking away, turned back and raised a finger as he began to respond.
“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior. What in the hell, what do you do all the time?
“When did I say I was confident?” he continued. “Let’s get this straight. I said what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacts to them and diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything. I’m just stating a fact.”
“But given his past behavior has not changed, and in that press conference after sitting down with you for several hours, [Putin] denied any involvement in cyberattacks, he downplayed human rights abuses, he even refused to say [Russian dissident] Alexei Navalny’s name. So, how does that account to a constructive meeting?” Collins asked.
“If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business,” Biden replied, before walking away.
Joe Biden just absolutely snapped at @CNN’s Kaitlan Collins
Putin got the better of him and he knows it.
Also—looking forward to continuous media outrage over Biden’s “misogynistic attack on the free press.”
That’s how this works, right?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) June 16, 2021
Biden later apologized as he was on the tarmac getting ready to board Air Force One, saying he owed his “last questioner an apology.”
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with the last answer I gave,” he added.
Some came to Collins’s defense, but others criticized her for putting words in Biden’s mouth.
CNN’s Zeleny on Biden snapping at Kaitlan Collins: “That was classic Joe Biden in both respects”
“I have never seen a president, covering the last four of them, who is so protected by his aides in terms of often not wanting him to answer some questions.” pic.twitter.com/491yJvRrwy
— Kambree (@KamVTV) June 16, 2021
What kind of example does it set for other countries when the president of the United States insults a member of the free press on an international stage for asking a fair question in good faith?
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) June 16, 2021
Kaitlyn Collins misquoted him.
Why is that okay?
— Bathsheba Dreams in Blue (@Inkling61) June 16, 2021
It would’ve served Biden better to not lose his temper with Kaitlan Collins. But the problem with her question is she put words in Biden’s mouth that he didn’t say. Biden never expressed confidence that Putin would change his behavior.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 16, 2021
Collins said the apology from Biden was “completely unnecessary.”
—@KaitlanCollins says she was just doing her job & Biden apologizing was “completely unnecessary.”
“He did not have to apologize, though I do appreciate he did.”
Collins adds that “asking the president a question does not mean it has a negative slant or a positive slant.” pic.twitter.com/PoN2uxzpxV
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 16, 2021
Sources: TownHall: Biden Apologizes After Losing His Temper on CNN Reporter