SAN FRANCISCO/MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Thursday said it was a “huge shame” that US President Joe Biden had called Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a “crazy SOB.”
Biden made the comments at a speech in San Francisco attended by a small group of reporters, in which he contrasted the risk posed by Putin to the threat of climate change.
“This is a huge shame for the country itself... for the US. If a president uses that kind of language, it’s shameful,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“It is clear that Mr. Biden is demonstrating Hollywood cowboy style behavior to serve domestic political interests,” he continued.
Biden has a history of similar hot-mic comments and has been strongly critical of Putin before, announcing in 2022 that the Kremlin chief “cannot remain in power.”
His remarks come as relations with the Kremlin linger at historic lows over the conflict in Ukraine and the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in jail.
The US President has promised to introduce tough new sanctions against Moscow over Navalny’s death, which the White House has blamed on the Kremlin.
“This is the last existential threat. It is climate. We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin and others and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is climate,” Biden told a small group of donors.
Biden has previously cursed “son of a bitch” at others. In January 2022, he was caught on the hot mic using the same term of abuse against a Fox News White House reporter.
Biden tends to go off script during election fundraisers and in recent months has dug into the Chinese government, the Republican Party, and US ally Israel for its bombing of the Gaza Strip.
Biden’s verbal attacks against Putin have also sharply intensified at the White House and on the campaign trail.
Biden and Putin remain deeply at odds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago, over which Russia has been sanctioned by the United States and other Western nations. Biden’s reactions have put a further chill into already bitter US-Russian relations.
Biden’s expected Republican opponent in November, former President Donald Trump, has expressed admiration for Putin both during his 2017-2021 White House tenure and afterward. However, he also recently compared himself to Navalny, implying that they both had faced politically motivated prosecutions.
“I don’t know where the hell this comes from,” Biden said on Wednesday reacting to Trump comparing himself to Navalny.