Pollak: Joe Biden Got Nothing in Geneva Summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin

JOEL B. POLLAK 16 Jun 2021

President Joe Biden gave Russian President Vladimir Putin almost everything he could have wanted at their Geneva summit. He elevated Putin above other leaders, including American allies; and failed to force any real concessions on Russian policy.

The degree to which the summit was a disaster became evident when Putin emerged for his press conference — alone with a forum all to himself.

The Biden team did not want to appear with Putin at a joint conference after the meeting– both because Biden would look frail next to Putin, and because of the media dogma that President Donald Trump had somehow done something terrible by behaving cordially when appearing alongside Putin in Helsinki, Finland, in 2018.

Putin fielded softball questions from Russian news agencies, but he also welcomed hostile questions from the U.S. media. (In fact, Putin, an enemy of press freedom, was more polite than Biden would be, and took far tougher questions.)

The opportunity to defend his own position, and to attack the United States, without fear of contradiction was a massive gift to the Russian president. He used the old Soviet tactic of pointing to American problems as a way of deflecting from questions about human rights and political opposition.

He did so without fear of contradiction: when he citedthe Black Lives Matter movement as an example of human rights abuses in the U.S., he knew no American journalist would object.

Biden tried to use his own press conference to make all kinds of claims about tough talk to the Russian president during their two-hour meeting. (Biden claimed, falsely, that a meeting of that length was unprecedented between two heads of state: in fact, Trump met with Putin for two hours in 2017.)

It was impossible to verify Biden’s claims without Putin there to respond — and Biden has a history of exaggerating his own bravery when citing conversations with foreign leaders.

Reporters pressed the two leaders, separately, to reveal what commitments, if any, Putin had made to change Russia’s aggressive behavior. But there were none.

Putin walks away from Geneva with no significant response to cyberattacks; with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Trump had opposed; and with no real pushback against his aggression in Ukraine. Notably, Biden met with Putin before meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — meeting TBA.

The response of the American media echoed Biden’s posture of appeasement. CNN, which had raised the alarm when Trump and Putin appeared to get along with one another, gushed about Biden’s “optimistic” tone at the summit, and how wonderful it was that Biden and Putin seemed to have had a friendly conversation.

At one point, the two leaders were so cozy that the White House had to walk back an apparent nod by Biden when he was asked if he trusted Putin.

Biden seemed unwilling to use any leverage against Putin — a fact that even the American media noted, with one journalist desperately asking whether the administration might consider using the U.S. military to stop cyberattacks. Biden’s strategy toward Putin seems to be that he can be convinced to behave more responsibly if he is told that he needs a better global image if he wants to be taken seriously by the media and American investors.

What Biden does not get — and what President Barack Obama did not get, and then-Secretary of State John Kerry did not get — is that Putin does not care. Putin cares about oil, and guns, and currency, and power. He plays by what Kerry once complained — after the Russian invasion of Crimea — are “19th century” rules. Biden does not know how to do the same.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden claimed that Trump was “unwilling to take on Putin.” But Putin leaves Geneva a winner, and Joe Biden got nothing.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


  • The story itself is unremarkable. Because what happened is exactly what we expected from Joe and the Dems: a total shitshow.
    More interesting is how Breitbart reported it. It has gone from a putler-groveller site to open criticism of the tiny poisoner. This 180° policy turn coincided almost exactly with Biden taking office.
    Let’s see if it continues on this path. That could well influence the sizeable Trumpoids for putler faction to have a rethink.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You’re imagining things again friend. I’m probably quite average when it comes to supporting Trump so I guess that makes me a “Trumpoid” and I thought Breitbart was dead, so it is probably just another fringe group you give too much credit to. Thank God in the normal world the 1% do not dictate policy trends to the 99%. I will remind you that virtually all the legislation about Ukraine from the 535 US representatives has been unanimous.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Imagining what exactly? That degenerate putlerite chairman Steve Bannon declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” in 2016? In 2016, it became a virtual rallying spot for supporters of the Trump campaign. It peaked at 18m readership but has been in decline since then.
        Did I imagine that it put out hundreds of putler groveling articles? So many that some of its journalists were headhunted to join Sputnik?
        Its editorial stance has now changed with the departure of Bannon. It is still alt-right, as are its readers. I thought you’d be pleased that it appears to have dropped its groveling to a rat dictator? I say ‘appears’ because it’s too early to say finally. However the long-serving writer of this piece; Joel Pollak, has pivoted away from his pro-putler stance. It’s early days though; you only have to click on the repellent disqus comments at the bottom to see that the readers are putinoid scum who unfortunately support Trump.
        I was banned from commenting on Breitbart in 2014. Not for criticising trump, but for criticism of putler.
        I would remind you that Trump remains a major and unrepentant Russia asset, as his sickening remarks made prior to the Biden-Putin shitshow clearly show. His Russia position is identical to that of the Pauls, who were outed as Russian agents by John McCain. And that is the reason why he spewed out so much hatred at John. Contrast what this draft dodger said about John; a US patriot and war hero, then compare it to what he says about America’s number one enemy.
        Now, in the aftermath of that appalling ‘summit’ between a fascist dictator and a treacherous (to Ukraine) fool, Trump came out with something that is accurate about America’s dysfunctional relationship with Russia lackey Germany and might even be unintentionally helpful to Ukraine. It’s from the NYP and I posted it. I hope you like it.

        Liked by 3 people

        • You are the only one on this big blue planet that claims this “alt-right” has any power at all. They probably sleep under your bed at night. 😉 Shocking that you’re more worried about the alt right than the commies that swarm the earth.


          • The alt-right are still huge. It is simply a code for Putin-lovers masquerading as US patriots. Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Trump, Russian agents the Pauls, Bannon, QAnon etc aren’t going away. In fact they are gathering strength in opposition. Breitbart has been showing promising signs of a move away from its repulsive pro-putler position, but it’s still too early to say. Hannity, who changes with the wind, might be going that way too. But he still uses the Trump term ‘the Russia hoax’ as if he, like Trump, believes that Russia did not interfere in 2016. Yet Trump’s family, friends, associates are all putler grovellers, as were many or most of his hires. The worst imaginable enemies of Ukraine: Stone, Manafort, Flynn are close friends and all were pardoned. Flynn just recently swore allegiance to QAnon. All the Putin-lovers were allowed to keep the enormous wealth and property portfolios they had accrued off the blood of Ukrainians.
            There is just one brand-name Trumpoid in the US media who bucks the trend and openly names putler as what he is: a fascist. Only one! Unless you can name more? And that one is Mark Levin and I am a fan. Unlike you, I am scrupulously fair on these matters, which is why I posted Trump’s post-summit comments; much of which I agreed with. There is also a charismatic young black woman: Candace Owens, a Trump fan who I had great hopes for, but she has just revealed herself to be so pro-putler that she’d probably blow the old nazi.
            Trump has been a Russian asset since the 1980’s. A self-confessed pussy-grabber who visits a place where pussy is provided by the state if you are considered valuable. Putler or his successor will only release whatever they have on Trump if it benefits them. They are likely to hold kompromat on many others too: Farage, Corbyn, Galloway, Salmond and many kraut and frog politicians. Orban; a staunch anti-putinoid, switched sometime after 2008. Who knows why?
            I hate socialists/communists/the far left as much as I hate the far right/alt right/fascists. Unlike you, who hates the former but seeks to minimize the latter. The alt-right got Trump: the first American president in history to repeatedly praise a fascist dictator, elected. The GOP is now in such terrible shape that it may choose Trump to stand again in 2024. If it does, then the US could be stuck with Dem rule indefinitely.
            The reason that Trump lost last year may well be those damn machines; who knows? But a sizable number of Republicans either abstained or voted Dem, because they just couldn’t stomach Trump. As a result we are only just beginning to see the reality for Ukraine and the world : that a cognitively challenged, talentless, integrity-free mediocrity is now running the only country powerful enough to destroy putler. And some of those waiting behind him to usurp power are Marxists.

            Liked by 1 person

  • onlyfactsplease

    “President Joe Biden gave Russian President Vladimir Putin almost everything he could have wanted at their Geneva summit. He elevated Putin above other leaders, including American allies; and failed to force any real concessions on Russian policy.”
    I hate it when I’m right in a negative way, although not a person on here expected anything else either. Biden has proven once again that the American people sorely fucked up when they chose this bag of dusty bones as president. He will not only damage our country in many ways, as he already has done with his extremely disastrous open-border policy but Ukraine too. He is wholly unqualified to lead our great nation. He is weak-minded, forgetful, blinded by fairy leftist dictums and a downright loser. As with the other three nincompoops as president, I hope on our Congress to remain level-headed and do what is necessary to avert the worst of it. It is a small hope but still a hope…

    Liked by 4 people

  • So let us address the elephant in the room; What precisely did Putin want?
    He didn’t gat some “Grand Compromise” about “spheres of Influence.”
    Sanctions have not been lifted.
    They stood face to face and told each other were they stood.
    Biden reaffirmed his support for Ukraine and Putin made it clear Ukraine NATO membership is a red line.
    And it was all done above board and recorded for the public.
    Unlike Trumps Great Mystery Summit.
    This is how REAL Presidental level diplomacy between hostil powers is conducted. Not Obama’s naiveite and Trumps groveling Fanboy act.


    • So then you support Biden’s moves to remove some Trump sanctions on Nord Stream 2? One thing is for sure, Trump did say some really stupid and nice things about Putler…but…he also actually DID some bad things to Putler too, like send javelins to Ukraine, more sanctions on Putler (in addition to the legislation), fry 300 Wagners in Syria, get out of the Open Skies and Start treaties that Putin was violating….and Biden jumped right back in….and probably best was to elbow Putin OUT of arms deals and oil and gas deals. Not just words, actions. So far all we’ve seen from the “REAL President” for actions have HELPED Putin.


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