‘Ridiculous Comparison’: Biden Slams Putin’s Defense For Crackdown On Russian Protesters

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND JUNE 16, 2021: US President Joe Biden (L) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet for talks at the Villa La Grange. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail MetzelTASS via Getty Images)
June 16, 2021 3:31 p.m.

President Biden went after Russian President Vladimir Putin for invoking the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection while defending his crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Russia.

Prior to Biden’s solo press conference on Wednesday after his meeting with Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, the Russian president held his own presser. Putin suggested his country’s imprisonment and killing of opposition leaders was a way to  avoid the kind of “disorder” he associates with Black Lives Matter protesters and Jan. 6 insurrectionists.

Putin also suggested that the hundreds of Capitol insurrectionists — who were arrested for breaching the Capitol after then-President Trump told a crowd of his supporters hours before the attack to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results — are being subjected to “persecution for political opinions.”

Pressed on Putin’s defense of his response to critics in Russia, Biden told reporters that the Russian president made a “ridiculous comparison.”

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

“My response is kind of what I communicated, that I think that’s a ridiculous comparison,” Biden said. “It’s one thing for literally criminals to break through, go into the Capitol, kill a police officer and hold them accountable, then it is for people objecting and marching on the capital to say you are not allowing me to speak freely, you are not allowing me to do A, B, C, or D.”

“So they’re very different criteria,” Biden added.

Biden’s remarks comes weeks after Senate Republicans deployed the filibuster to kill the House-passed Jan. 6 commission bill that would form an independent bipartisan panel investigating the Capitol attack in a 54-35 vote.

Biden himself ruled out appointing a presidential commission to probe the Capitol insurrection, but planned on increasing pressure on Congress to create a committee.

Watch Biden’s remarks below:

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Editor for Content Strategy and Audience Development:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: