President George W. Bush once described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “straight forward” and “trustworthy,” but Vice President Joe Biden had a very different take on Putin, dating back to 2011.
In an interview published Monday in The New Yorker (where President Barack Obama also said Biden would make a “super” president), Biden told of an exchange he had with Putin while visiting the Kremlin in 2011.
“I had an interpreter, and when he was showing me his office I said, ‘It’s amazing what capitalism will do, won’t it? A magnificent office!’ And he laughed. As I turned, I was this close to him,” Biden said, signaling that the two leaders were standing just inches apart. “I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.’”
Biden insisted the story was “absolutely, positively” true.
“And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.’” Biden said. “This is who this guy is!”
He was playing off Bush’s previous comments he made after a Putin visited him in Crawford, Texas, where Bush said “I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.”
We’re guessing Biden isn’t a fan of WWE’s Rusev and Lana, although it would be fun to see Biden do a cameo one night.
The interview also painted a picture of what Biden’s relationship was like with Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted earlier this year.
“He was gregarious,” Biden said earlier this year. “I said, ‘You look like a thug!’ I said, ‘You’re so damn big.’ ”