- Chris Christie says that “not much was accomplished, but no damage was done” during Biden’s trip.
- The G-7, NATO, and Geneva summits were Biden’s first international meetings since taking office.
- While in Geneva, Biden had a long-awaited meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.
Former GOP Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Sunday said that “not much was accomplished, but no damage was done” during President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Christie said Biden didn’t forge any diplomatic breakthroughs during the trip, but avoided any serious mistakes.
“In the end, not much was accomplished, but no damage was done,” he said. “I think that’s probably all they were looking for … was to come out unscathed. No big mistakes. Come home, and he can say ‘America’s back.’ That’s what his point was, and I don’t think he did anything that made us believe that we weren’t.”
He added: “I think the bar was low because he didn’t get in conflicts with anybody. There wasn’t any kind of difficult moments except for the one with Kaitlan Collins.”
Christie was referring to the president’s testy exchange with the CNN White House correspondent, who questioned Biden about why he felt confident that Putin would project a different attitude with him.
—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 20, 2021
“Why are you so confident he will change his behavior, Mr. President?” Collins asked Biden as he was leaving a briefing in Geneva last week.
Biden responded to Collins, but was unhappy with the line of questioning: “I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior — what the hell, what do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?”
The president later apologized for his words.
“I owe my last questioner an apology,” Biden told reporters before heading back to Washington, DC. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I apologize for having been short.”
After the meeting with Biden, Putin said that the talks were “quite constructive.”
However, questions remain on how the US and Russia will address their most difficult challenges, including cybersecurity issues, the conflict in Ukraine, and the imprisonment of Putin critic Alexei Navalny, among others.
“Many of our joint positions are divergent but nevertheless I think both sides manifested a determination to try and understand each other and try and converge our positions,” Putin told reporters last week.