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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  June 16, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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behavior is actually going to change. i don't think it's a bryce to see president biden and president putin meet. you obvious see presidents in the early stages of their presidency try to change the trajectory with russia. time and time again, that has not worked out. so that's the big question facing this administration. we should know, going into the summit, there was some division in the white house when they were planning, about whether it should go forward. some thought, yes, it's a good time. some people who even worked for president trump thought it was a good time, and others thought they needed deliverables walking out of this meeting. so there is a lot left to be answered about what the future of the u.s./russia relationship will look like, and certainly unit president biden. >> we saw the presidential motorcade. it's already left the hotel heading to the airport. the president will be flying
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back to washington over the next several hours, you can see the aftereffects of that motorcade right there. jeff zeleny, you were listening as carefully as anyone. what did you think? >> it was clear when president biden was asking kaitlan's question, he's not confident of putin's behavior, but he is confident in his new role, as he's been traveling across europe, he's leading his first foreign trip, declaring it a success or at least on the pathway to it, but the reality is, as he said himself, we will not know if it's a success in the next three months, six months to see if russia changes its behavior. it's striking to see his confidence in his approach, in his tone, as he handles all of this. he did not go point by point rue butting everything that vladimir putin said.
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there was a discussion among white house aides what he should talk about, but in the end he talked about essentially what he had planned to going into it. you know, certainly he was comfortable in that moment, taking off his jacket answering they questions from top foreign policy reporters that he doesn't always call on. wolf, as we assess this trip, this is why joe biden ran for president. this is why he decided to come back into the arena, to challenge former president donald trump, because he wanted to strengthen the transatlantic alliance. he wanted to take america's democratic ideals abroad. now he has the job. instead we can call it a success, but we will see what happens on the future ones to come. we do not know if vladimir putin will change his behavior. he's had ever tuned to do so
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previously, and han done so. president biden now owns this relationship with putin, by agreeing to meet in geneva, this will be the benchmark from which this relationship will spring forward. the motorcade, president biden is instead leaving, and had heading for the airport and will be traveling back to washington, but doing so, again, with a bit of a bounce in his step with more work to come. summing it up here, wolf, he said it's not a kunmbaya moment but what comes from here will certainly dictate the foreign policy of his presidency. wolf? >> you know, to jeff's point, wolf, why biden ran for president. we should note the clear dramatic contrast between geneva and helsinki, trump in hell sing ir, biden in here. his words very strong about an american president standing up for human rights, saying no
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president could keep the faith of the american people if he didn't speak out gins it is violation of human rights. those are not words you heard from president trump, really at all or often, and instead what you heard from trump when he was next to putin, i believe what putin is say. i don't believe my own intelligence agencies. putin noticed that. putin esaid this is a very different president. >> very different in tone, but also in terms of the ability to get things done. when he was asked that question about how come it was only 3 1/2 hours, and he was, like, because we sat down at the table, we were professional, pragmatic, and we got it done. we went through humanitarian corridors, to syria, iran, nuclear, arctic remains an area of cooperation, we went through it all in two hours, three hours, rather, because he's a seasoned professional. he knows how to do this.
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it seemed like he was stepping into his own here, and owning the moment, taking control of the situation. >> i thought it was significant, jim, that president biden, he underscored areas of agreement with the russian leader. syria, for example, iran nukes, for example, arctic, military activity in the arctic, afghanistan. he had some specific areas where the two sides seemed to be pretty much on the same page. >> the iran nuclear deal is no small thing. it's an enormous agreement signed in 2015, which of course trump pulled out of and biden is trying to resurrect, it taps, as stated there, with russia's support. we no don't know if they can get over the remaining issues. it was a landmark agreement that the u.s. and russia, for all their disagreements, were on the same page on. >> go ahead, jeff.
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>> i'm told we are getting a joint statement here, so let's -- wolf, we are getting a joint statement here that i'm just pulling up. let me read it aloud, a joint statements, as president biden called it, the strategic stability. of course, that is the point of all. this let's read it together -- we, the president of the united states and president of the russian federation note the united states and russia have demonstrated, even if periods of tension, they're able to make progress on our shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the a risk of armed conflicts, and the threat of nuclear war. that in a nutshell is what they had agreed on. so given the fact that the u.s. and russia have the lion's share of nuclear powers, this is something they are coming
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together on. now, what is the worth of this joint statement? we will see. is there a new cyberattack coming in the next week or two weeks? likely so. we will see how the responses are, but again, as president biden prepares to return to washington, facing just a litany of domestic challenges, it's become clear the world change is an easier place for him to operate it. it's more difficult to judge immediate success, he faces all the challenges he still faces at home. we can talk about what-about-ism, but the reality is several of the things president putin raised, the shooting, the violence, were actually major challenges confronting this white house. what i was so struck by, wolf, in covering president biden, vice president president biden, senator biden for a very long time, his fluidity in discussing foreign affairs, he's much more
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at ease doing that than talking about voting rights, than talking about police reform, even infrastructure. those challenges of course await him at home, but for now at least he has steered the conversation on the world stage. about china as well, getting the specific mention of china in the nato communication, talking about russia in the communication for the first time. there will be a clamoring for joe biden to come back, but it may be a while, because he of course has many issues when he gets back home late tonight. >> he's going to have his hands full when he gets back to washington. he's been on the road now for eight days in the uk, in belgium, now switzerland, now heading back to washington. matthew chance is with you. you were at the putin news conference, you listened to the response, the last word, if you will, from president biden. what dunk? did you think?
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>> i didn't catch what president biden said. i've been listening to the analysis here, because we were kicked out, the journalists, the kremlin press conference, we were all being turfed out of the premises as soon as president putin basically level. i was listening to the joint statement. there were areas of mutual cooperation, that even despite their disagreements in some areas, they can still cooperate, for instance on arms control, the arctic, things like that. what struck me, though, is those areas of potential cooperation were always there. they've always shared a common interest in better cybersecurity. they've always shared a comment interest in arms control and climate change. that's not the proo prop in this relationship. the problem in the relationship is, you know, vladimir putin and the russia he presides over has
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been carrying out, you know, cyberattacks against u.s. infrastructure, criminal gangs, all these intelligence services, you know, hacking into servers in the united states. he's been threatening his armed forces and the rebels his country backs, specifically the ukraine, but other countries as well, and of course he's cracking down on his internal opposition. you know, very badly, putting them in prison, trying to poison them, or poison them in fact with military-grade nerve agents. those are the things that have derailed the u.s./russia relationship. no matter how well the summit went, unless vladimir putin stops that kind of activity, t that maligned activity.
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>> gloria, president biden is about to get on air force one, make the flight back to washington tonight. how do you think what we have seen over the last few hours, the summit, the putin news conference, now the biden news conference, how do you think that will play when the president gets back home and has all these other issues he's got to deal with. >> welcome, as biden said himself, he did what he came to do. he's not claiming some kind of huge moment here, he's taking a wait-and-see attitude. what i want to say, after watching biden for quite some time, this was pure biden. he came out and he said, there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings. he said it in the presser. he said, so there can be no misrepresentations. what he did was he did not
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question putin's motives. we know what he thinking of vladimir putin. we know what he thinks of his human rights policies. we know what he thinks of his aggression in ukraine. we know all of that, but the way he negotiates, and he does this on domestic policy, you walk in, and he's not going to question your motive. he's going to say, how can we work this out? as he said, it's business, it's not personal. so he said, we identified areas we can work together. we decided we would communicate directly, as i did, and we laid out our priorities and values, and we're going to take a wait-and-see attitude. they came out with a statement on strategic stability, a lot has to be seen, but what you saw today is effectively the two leaders sitting down saying, look, we have no interest in a cold war here.
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you know, i do not expect vladimir putin to change hi beh -- his behavior overnight, but biden got it on the record from the horse's mouth, what will occur if putin continues his cyberattacks. he let him know how americans feel about the issue of human rights. he mentioned the names of the two americans who were being held that he wanted released. face-to-face. i think that's something that biden came to do. i think he did it, and we'll have to see whether it gets resolved. but there was a clear agenda here done with tony blinken and the state department, national security team, and the president of the united states. these were the things they wanted to discuss. that's exactly what they got on the record.
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>> dana, at least the russian ambassador will now come back to washington, and both of these leaders agreed on this whole issue of cyberattack. >> there are. it's good that you said that. how poor the relations have been up until this summit today . >> 9 whole discussion with reporters there about how he told vladimir putin, you want to be a great nation? great nations have to interact with other nations.
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if you want a trade relationships, they have to trust the capability of having that kind of -- he didn't use the word "moral authority" but he said if you want to have business there, the businesses have to know they're not going to imprison their business people. if you want to be a power on the world stage, act like it. i remember covering george w. bush, who told some of us reports about how he really studied putin before meeting with him. read biographies of peter the great and other russian leaders that putin is trying to emulate. he wants to get russia and has wanted to get russia since the collapse of the soviet union back to that point of being such a powerhouse on the world stage,
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not just because of nuclear weapons, but because of the its economic prowess and so forth. the fact that biden played on that, at least in the way he discussed it with reporters at that press conference, was so fascinating to me. again as gloria said, so vintage biden, because it is his understanding of human relationships and human condition that make him so fluid, as jeff said, on the world stage. >> i believe this is about a seven or eight-hour trip. >>. >> that's right, to dana's point, almost giving him advice to say this is not the way forward for russia, there's a danger in that approach. if there's a country in the world and a leader who would not want to be preached to is
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vladimir putin in russia. it's a similar approach that the u.s. had to china. diplomats used to say, china, to reach your potential, you have to be a -- china didn't listen. ill constituents going its own w way. >> i think it's important to understand, you know, we're looking closely and discusses whether this was a success. i think it was a success from the kremlin. president biden stood up there, shook hands with the leader of
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the free world, he stood tough on the issues that russia cares about. he leveled all sorts of allegations at the u.s., some of them painful, some of them obnoxious, and he went home with what he wanted as well. guardrails, but no real substantial change in his behavior. so from his perspective, i would say as well that president putin is feeling pretty good about this. we saw both sides go to pains to make it clear that the bar was really low here. they may have achieved that bar, but there won't be any meaningful change based on what we have seen in terms of the way russia comports itself on the world stage. >> i suspect you're right.
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>> i don't know if these are u.s. diplomats here, but individuals who came to see the president and help the president, presumably, during his brief visits here to geneva. kaitlan collins, you're still with us as well. i'm going to be heading back to washington. the president will get there before you, before me. >> he left behind a -- it's been entirely focused almost on foreign policy. he's talked about things to change, to strengthen america in his view on the world stage.
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at the end, it would not by the trip that everyone was looking at. it was what the outcome of that was going to look lake. those are raising the questions about the future of this for the u.s./russia relationship. we know what it's been in the past and how sanctions placed on russia have not always deterred their behavior, when it comes to hacks like the solarwinds hack that we have seen. so those are very important issues, and that is something he's going to be still deal with. and official will be dealing with infrastructure when he returns. these talks that have been happens who stayed back in washington and several key lawmakers. i think the white house is still trying to get a timeline, we know that one of the president's tom advisers essentially communicated they do have a new
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timeline of seven to ten daze to say if there's going to be progress or see if democrats will take a different route. >> i think the president wants to say something here to the press. >> i was a wise guy with the last answer, but anyway, thanks for being here. most of you have been here the whole time. i really do think -- not me, but i think we, the country, has put a different face on where we've been and where we're going. i feel good about it. i feel, you know -- one of the things that i think understandably there is a good deal of skepticism about, with the g7 sign-on and giving america back its sort of leadership role. i think it did. it wasn't me, but they're glad america is back. they're black america is back and they acted that way.
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then when we went to nato, i think it was the same thing. we had really good meetings there, as well as the eu. i didn't get one single person, not one of the world leaders saying anything other than thanking me for arranging a meeting with putin. i thought, quite frankly, i was in a much better position to represent the west after the previous three meetings with putin, knowing that the rest of the west was behind us. so i think -- so i owe them all a debt of gratitude. >> reporter: since you're not heading home, briefly about two domestic issues? >> i'm not sure i can answer them. >> reporter: if you could. first is the fate of the infrastructure bill. there's not a bipartisan group with a new offer? have you had time to review it? >> i honestly haven't seen it. i don't know what the details are. i know that my chief of staff thinking there's some room that
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there may be a means by which to get this done. i know that schumer and nancy have moved forward. so i'm still hoping we can put together two bookends. >> reporter: do you have a response to that? >> no, i know, the answer is mitch is -- mitch has been nothing but no for a long time, and i'm sure he means exactly what he says, but we'll see. >> mr. president, did you talk with president putin about the iran nuclear deal? >> yes. >> reporter: what did you decide? >> it was about how we would jointly work, and i'm not going
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to discuss what we discussed. >> reporter: kaitlan's question that you answered at the end, that you came over to talk about, i think at the heart of it was a question whether or not you seem overly optimistic gives that what we all listened to, president putin basically said the same old things he's said forever, rejecting all responsibility, and i guess the question you were trying to get, and maybe you can take another stab, what concrete evidence do you have to suggest that any movement has been made i don't mean that to -- >> i know, to be a good reporters you've got to have a negative view of life, it seems to me, the way you all. you never does a move question. why in fact -- we'll find out. we have an agreement to work on a major arms control agreement.
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i started working arms control agreement back all the way to the cold war. if we did one then, why couldn't we do one now? we will see. we will see whether or not it happens, but the thing that always amazes me about the question, and i apologize for having been short before, if you were in my position, would you think i don't think anything is going to happen, it's going to be really rough, be really bad, then you guarantee nothing happens. you guarantee nothing happens. so, so far -- there's a value to being realistic and put on an optimistic front, an optimistic face. you all said the same thing about the -- what was going to happen when we had the first meeting of the seven oh, biden, they're not going to buy biden's stuff, and did that happen? any of it?
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a little bit. just a little sliver of it? when i went to meet with nato, boy, they're not going to be happener they're all going to be against biden meeting with putin. did you hear a single, solitary syllable? what would happen if i said before going into the negotiations, you know, i think it's going to be really hard, really difficult, i'm not so optimistic, i don't see anybody changing. the same when i met with the eu, they're not going to like the way biden is operating. >> reporter: but this is vladimir putin. >> sure it is vladimir putin. the french president said he will never go for more money for n nato. guess what? look, guys, i'm going to drive you all crazy, because i know you want me to always put a negative thrust on things, particularly in public and negotiate in public.
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i don't have to trust somebody. we didn't have to trust somebody to get -- to start with putin. inaudible inaudible [ inaudible ] >> i don't trust anybody. look. i've got to get in the plane, but i'll say it -- >> reporter: your plane, you can go when you want. >> but here's the thing. folks -- [ inaudible ] -- i don't see any benefit ever to begin a negotiation -- and i mean, you're the brightest people in the country, the most important people. i'm not soliciting, but it makes no sense for me to negotiate
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with you. it makes no sense for me to tell you about what to do. not because i want to hide anything. why would i telegraph that? >> sir, we really have to go. thank you, guys. [ inaudible question ] >> i wasn't surprised. i'll choose my words. russia is in a very, very difficult spot. they are being squeezed by china. they want desperately to remain a major power. you all are writing about, biden already gave putin what he wants, legitimacy, standing on the world stage with the president of the united states. they desperately want to be relevant. they have -- and they don't want to be known as some critics have
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said -- with nuclear weapons. it matters. i found it matters almost to every world leader, no matter where they're from, how they're perceived, their standing in the world. it matters to them. it matters in terms of their support at home as well. so i think that there is. >> i'm trying to think how to shorten this. i am of the view that in the last three to five years, the world has reached a fundamental inflection point i mean it literally. it's not hyperbole, not -- i think it's a genuine reality, so each of the countries around the
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world particularly those with real power at one time are wondering, how do i maintain our leadership in the world? that's what the united states is going through right now. a lot's going on. notwithstanding how per swaysive president trump was, that we would have people attacking and breaking down the doors of the united states capitol. i didn't think that would happen. i didn't think i would see that in my lifetime, but to reinforce what i've always known and what i got gout taught by my professor and senior members of the senate that i admired when i got there, that every generation has to reestablish the basis in this fight for democracy. i mean, for real. you literally have to do it.
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i've never seen, including since the civil war, such an outward assault on voting rights. just a flat assault. i didn't anticipate that happening for you years ago, but it's happening now. we have our own concern, but as long as i'm president, we are only going to stick to the notion that we're open, accountable and transparent. i think that's important. thank you all for taking the time. all right. so there you saw something rather unusual for this president, you know, there's -- the stairs in the front of the air force one that go up there, but there are also stairs in the back. there's always an air force one white house press pool, members of the white house peretz corps. they always wait on the tarmac
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before the president climbs the stairs, as he is doing now, in case the president does want to say something. it's pretty unusual for the president to walk back and speak to the press pool. in this particular case, he decided to do so and spend quality time, trying in his words, to clean up something. he wanted to apologize for what he said at the end of the news conference as he was leaving. our own kaitlan collins was asking him some questions. set the scene for us, kaitlan. i want to play what the president said to the air force one press pool, and he made that gesture, to go back and speak and answer reporters' questions. what you asked him, what he said at the time. he suggested when he walked back, he wanted to apologize for being a wise guy. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. that was because of the question/interaction, myself and several reporters were questioning the president about this major summit that happened
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into with the russian leader. my question was what makes it confident that putin could potential change his behavior in the next three to six months, which was repeatedly a metric he cited in how to measure the success, when it comes to cybersecurity, when it comes to human rightsty end he drew incredibly frustrated, he says he is not confident that putin will change his behavior. you believe he's confident, in that he did hold a summit to talk about these issues, but the white house said they wanted to get a good indicator of where the u.s./russia relationship could be going forward from here. at the end he did not like that line of questions. he then left to the airport and then made these comments to the reports standing there. i owe my last questioner an apology. i shouldn't have been such a wise guy in the last answer. anyway, thanks for being here.
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>> reporter: so, wolf, there he is, apologizing for the way he responded to my question. that is completely unnecessary from the president. he did not have to apologize, though i do appreciate he did in front of the other reporters as he was about to get on air force one. when i was asking him that question, i was just doing my job, which is to question the president, regardless if they're a democrat or a republican, and asking the president a question does not mean it has a negative slant or a positive slant. it is simply a way to get into the president's mindset of how he as viewing something, who has interfered in u.s. elections, jailed his political opponents, dismissed human rights, as he did here in geneva earlier today. its not necessary. its just our job to ask the president questions. that's the bit we are in, and of course we just want to get answers so people can find out what the president's mindset is,
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why he makes the decisions he makes, whether it's foreign, domestic or anything represented to the presidency, wolf. >> i will say this. president biden did the right thing by going to the white house press pool. i spent seven years as a white house reporter. i often took in the back stair on the tarmac hoping a president would say something. pretty unusual, dasally they would do it. i don't know if president biden has done that so far in these first few months, but it was nice he did that. i know you have to catch a plane as well. jeff zell known, you've spent a lot of time covering this president, also when he was vice president, also when he was a senator, what do you think? >> that was classic joe biden, we saw that occasionally during the campaign, i've seen it on capitol hill. staffers who have worked for joe
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biden for a long time, have seen a flash of temper, but he also realized it was inappropriate, could perhaps be viewed as sexist, so he clearly wanted to clean it up and lighten the mood and take it off the table before getting on a plane, as all of the images and the narrative was set. he wanted to take that off the table. we have seen president biden do that. what we have not seen him do is answer questions like that without his aides screaming at him to stop. i have never seen a president, covering the last four of them, who is so protected by hi aides in terms of not wanting him to answer questions. they were silent today. he had a job to do. he recognized that. he walked to the microphones and genuinely apologized to kaitlan for asking a question. so setting that aside here. we do, wolf, i want to clear up one thing for history, as this summit comes to an end. there's been some confusion, was
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there one or two meetings? we are learning there was still the meeting at the very beginning with president biden and president putin, the secretary of state and the russian foreign minister. then there was about a 20-minute break and a second expanded meek. the confusion, which came to a quick conclusion, was that there was not two parts of that extended session. it was just combined into one part without a break. they did meet for about three hours or so. not the shortest summit, certainly not the longest, but that is what is unfolded earlier. again, as president biden flies back to washington, you can tell he's confident because of just his tone there at the end. of course, we will see what the actions of vladimir putin are, as clarissa was saying earlier, he also goes back to sochi
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confident. the quest is, what comes next? >> you know, jim scuitto, let's talk a bit. putin is going back to russia. i think he's pleased. clearly president biden is pleased as well, but the proof is what happens next. >> we entered with lower expectations, and you're leaving with a reasonable ability for both sides to claim something of a victory here. they stood, they talked, they talked on the big issues, they didn't make progress, action we expected on the big issues. they at least laid a path to discuss those bigger issues going forward, for instance expert consultations. clearly, you know, biden is on mars and putin is on venus with
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what's actually happening in cybe cybersphere, but you could say it was a relatively positive event. also, the ability -- or the fact that both of them describe their rapport as workable, as constructive. >> when they do back, now the hard work starts. now you actually have to verify all of the ideas and propositions that have been put into play, but, you know, the sense is you're not going to change president putin's action. and that's not the metric for success by the biden administration. the metric for success is, do you prevent the further degradation of the relationship? do you provide certain areas of cooperation, where you try to keep the relationship on something more of a predictable course? clearly too early, but clearly it's important to remember what the bar is when we're talking
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two, three months, about whether success was achieved, don't expect president putin to change. that was never on the table. this is about preventing could taos troy. >> air force once getting ready to take off to return to joint base andrews outside of washington, d.c. we did see something extraordinary, jim, i want to wrap it up with this. he came back and apologized to the news people for, quote, being a wise guy, and i said, can you sever imagine the former president going our hi way to apologize? >> no, frankly on our experience and lots of evident, no. he has confidence that they can work together on these things. and that's going to be, you know, the test we're all going to be watching in the coming
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weeks and months. we'll watch it very closely. air force one is getting ready to take off. to our viewers, thank you so, so much for joining us. there's much more to come. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern for a special two-hour edition of the "the situation room." our special coverage continues with victor blackwell and alisyn cam camerota.
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone. i'm alisyn camerota. >> i'm victor blackwell. president biden is now on his way back to the u.s. after negotiating with russian president vladimir putin. >> the meeting was expected to be five-plus hours, but ended up only about 2 1/2 hours.
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still, both leaders said the meetings were productive and constructive. >> so there can be no mistake or misrepresentations about what i wanted to communication. i did what i came to do. number one, identify areas of practical work our two countries can do to advance our mutual interests and also benefit the world. two, communicate directly, directly that the united states will respond to actions that impair or vital interests or those of our allies. three, to clearly lay out our country's priorities and our values, so he heard it straight from me. >> translator: i don't think there was any hostility. on the contrary, our meeting was obviously a fundamental one many of our joint positions divergent, but nevertheless i
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think both sides manifested determination to try to understand each other and try and converge our positions. i think it was very constructive. >> but what did they accomplish? putin said russia and the u.s. have agreed to return their respective ambassadors to their posts. the two nations will begin consultations on cybersecurity. >> joining us live from geneva, phil mattingly as well as natasha bertrand. phil, let's start there. when president biden, we walked him get on the plane, what does he come home with after this? >> look, usual officials made very clear they had low expectations going into the summit in terms of what they could take off it. what you heard from the president is president biden is essentially satisfied, he does what he came to do, lays out areas where he believes there is
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a possibility of engagement between the two sides, both sides agreeing to move forward at the staff level, on cybersecurity talks, on a couple other issues as well, but also making clear there were repercussions if certain guardrails were crossed. ed biden administration believe they -- that's what they were seeing to. the biggest question becomes how long does this last? is anything tan able, or saying that they have agreed to start working groups? i think president biden acknowledged the proof will be in the pudding, in his words, over the next three to six months. are they willing to deliver on anything, or are they just going to go back to where they've been throughout the course of the last several
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insight into his thinking on the issue broadly, where he made clear that, you know, if a country isn't following the kind of rules of road of the international norms, then maybe other countries aren't going to to want to do business there. maybe other countries are going to work with that. that is a calculation that president biden's predecessors have had that he served as vice president. because of that change, that could isolate president putin's behavior. that simply hasn't come to fruition over the last several years. so it's unclear how it would be different this time. when you talk to u.s. officials they made it clear they didn't want any grand outcomes here. what they wanted was for the president to have an opportunity to make his case for u.s. interests. for possible areas of engagement and potential areas that the u.s. would respond to if russia continues that behavior. i think the president made clear that he believes he did that today. >> natasha, let's talk about strategy that was employed here.
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no ultim ultimatums, no threats the president said were used. why that approach there? we've heard from some analysts that there somebody consequences that are clear publicly if the president crosses red lines. president didn't employ those today. >> i think there may be threats about the president wanting to call them threats. he did say afterwards that he told president putin that the u.s. has cyberabilities that are very advanced and that russia knows that, in the event that russia were to cross any red lines in the cybersphere that biden laid out there. i think there were veiled threats there. definitely, no outright ultimatums, right. biden made it clear there were several things he wanted to see russia make progress on. for example, not targtargeting critical infrastructures in the
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united states. that they would if they discovered that the russians were involved in attacking in any way in attacking those infrastructure entities. but ultimately, this was biden's way of introducing his relationship with vladimir putin to the world essentially. for lack of a better word, for the white house, i know phil doesn't like this word, resetting the relationship from president trump with vladimir putin which of course was very, very different. the president did not go until here with threats and ultimatums but he was not exactly soft on the russian president either. he made it very clear that the united states will always bring up human rights. he said that the russians would face devastating consequences, if alexei navalny, the top opposition leader there in russia, died. and he raised the issue of the two detained americans in russia right now. so, all of these things, along with, you know, the red line with regard to ukraine and further aggression there, kind of factor into the understanding between these two leaders that this is going to be more of a normal relationship, moving
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forward. but the real work begins now. back when, you know, the diplomats and the officials have to do the real groundwork here to ensure that this kind of cooperation does continue through the next three to six month. >> phil, i just want to play how president biden characterized those so-called red lines when it came to cyber attacks because so many of us have been affected even indirectly by the ransomware attacks of late. >> yeah. >> so, here's how he said he spelled it out. >> i talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructures should be off limits to attack. period. by cyber or any other means. i gave them a list. if i'm not mistaken, i don't have it in front of me, 16 specific entities. 16 defined as critical infrastructure under u.s. policy. from the energy sector to our water systems. of course, the principle is one thing. it has to be backed up by
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practice. responsible countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory. so, we agreed to task experts in both our countries to work on specific understandings about what's off limits. >> that was so interesting to me, phil. i didn't know that pledresident biden would have to spell it explicitly what's off limits, but he said that's what he did. >> i think the most interesting -- to be frank, this may be just a personal view, cyber security issues and cyber attacks are by far the most interesting element of this entire meeting. this is at the core of what has preceded so much kind of disagreement, obviously. and considered maligned behavior over the course of the last several years between the two countries. obviously, you have election meddling and the solarwinds act
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that is coursing through at the moment and the other piece that everybody has teed in the last several weeks, ransomware attacks. not state-sponsored but obviously, from criminal based in russia. throughout the entire process, president putin has denied any knowledge of any of these things, and he did show again in this press conference today. part of the reason that the president felt he had to lay these issues out is because president putin continues to deny their existence at all. i also think this is kind of an effort to try to set a baseline. you know, one of the most difficult aspects of cyber, just generally, there aren't the traditional rules of the road as you saw with major weapons systems or nuclear weapons, when it comes to how countries operate. how they view norms. what is considered off-limits. and if you attack something that's off limits, how dramatic will the response be. i think what the president and the team is trying to wrap its
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head around something that multiple administrations have done is there a way to do this on scale? obviously russia would be the primary player from the u.s. perspective to get in line with some type of an agreement of a way forward. i think this is one of the most difficult and complicated issues that the u.s. national security apparatus is facing right now. obviously, private companies and public infrastructure are facing this clearly right now. i don't talk to any officials who believe there's a clear path forward with putin and how leaders operate in this space. but the core purpose of this conversation was to try to set a baseline down. and to obviously lay out that the u.s. which is starting to ratchet offensive capability in cyberspace over the last several years will clearly respond if they feel russia is continuing its activities. >> they've agreed to expert consultation on cyber security. we'll see where that goes. the president says three to six months to see if this has been a success.
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phil mattingly, natasha bertrand, thank you both. quick break. we'll continue our coverage in just a moment. you need an ecolab scientific clean here. and you need it here. and here. and here. which is why the scientific expertise that helps operating rooms stay clean is now helping the places you go every day too. seek a commitment to clean. look for the ecolab science certified seal. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ introducing the new bud light seltzer retro summer pack.
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