Joe Biden “talks the talk” about his disdain for Russia, but he has yet to “walk the walk” with a hardball stance. Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, under Biden’s watch, but it turns out Biden tried to buy Russia’s support of the Iraq War by promising Vladimir Putin oil money.
Before the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq, as senator Biden had a talk with Putin in hopes of gaining Russia’s support. At a 2004 event held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Biden told listeners that he had met with Putin while trying to get other nations to back the invasion, the Washington Free Beacon reported today from the event transcript.
“What if, in fact, President Bush would agree that the first proceeds coming from Iraqi oil would pay off the roughly $12 billion owed by direct hard currency that the Russians needed? And what about the contracts that we had if in fact we would agree to work in consortium with the Russians?” Biden said he asked Putin.
Later in his speech, Biden referenced this type of interaction with Putin as “creative diplomacy.”
In 2019, during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, however, Biden was singing a different tune about Russia. Biden called Putin a dictator and criticized President Trump for working with Russia in ways Biden had attempted himself.
“He’s embracing thugs, he’s embracing Kim Jung-Un who’s a thug. He’s embracing Putin who’s a flat dictator,” Biden said to Cuomo.
On foreign policy, Biden says President Trump is dissing allies and “embracing thugs.”
— CNN (@CNN) July 5, 2019
The much-discussed Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections took place when Biden was vice president. Yet during an interview with CNN, Biden insisted Russian interference would never happen under his watch.
“You think that would have happened on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t,” Biden said.
Biden also now says he regrets voting for the Iraq War. He also claimed that immediately after voting for the war, he regretted it. However, nine months after he voted to invade Iraq, Biden said he stood by his vote.
“Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force and I would vote that way again today,” Biden said during a July 2003 speech. “It was the right vote then and would be a correct vote today.”
Biden has a record of working with Putin (which he now claims is wrong), voting for a war (which he now claims he regrets), and not stopping Russian interference (which he now claims wasn’t his fault). With this record, it is unclear what Biden’s foreign policy would look like if he were elected president.