Biden calls Putin ‘crazy SOB’ and steps up attacks on Trump

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the reported death of Aleksey Navalny in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington D.C., on Feb.16, 2024. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Joe Biden called Vladimir Putin a “crazy SOB” and took a swipe at Republican rival Donald Trump for likening himself to Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who died last week in a remote prison.

The off-the-cuff comments, made at a pair of West Coast fundraisers, aren’t the first time the U.S. leader has gone off script at private events to raise money for his campaign ahead of November elections. Polls show Biden and Trump, his predecessor, slugging it out in a rematch of the 2016 race that is growing into an increasingly uglier war of words.


“We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin, and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict,” Biden said Wednesday at one event, adding that climate change is still society’s existential threat.

Putin said the criticism confirmed the belief he expressed last week that Biden was the better option for Russia at November’s U.S. presidential election. “This is a normal reaction to what I said. And why? Because he can’t tell me – ‘Volodya, well done, thank you, you helped me a lot’,” Putin told a Russian TV reporter late Thursday, using a short form of his own first name. “We understand what is happening there from a domestic political point of view, and such a reaction is absolutely normal, which means I was right.”

In a Fox News town hall on Tuesday night, Trump compared his legal troubles to Navalny’s fate, calling the activist’s death a “very sad situation” and asserting that his four criminal indictments are politically motivated. Biden said he didn’t know “where the hell this comes from.” “It astounds me the things that are being said,” Biden said. “I mean, if I stood here 10, 15 years ago and said any of this, you’d all think I should be committed.”

He went on to make a scathing assessment of the state of the Republican Party.

“I’ve served with real racists. I served with Strom Thurmond. I served with all these guys that have set terrible records on race,” said Biden. “At least you could work with some of these guys.”

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