Biden says Putin is in ‘real trouble’ and that makes him ‘more dangerous’

President Joe Biden said in a speech to U.S. intelligence community Tuesday cast Russian President Vladimir Putin as a cornered adversary – which makes him potentially ‘more dangerous.’

Speaking at the office of the Director of National Intelligence for his first time as president, Biden remarked on the state of Russia‘s oil-dependent economy – and issued a grave warning about the risks of cyber adventurism.  

‘He knows he’s in trouble and that makes him more dangerous,’ Biden said, speaking a few weeks after meeting with Putin in Geneva for a summit. 

'He knows he’s in trouble,' President Joe Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin

'He knows he’s in trouble,' President Joe Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin

‘He knows he’s in trouble,’ President Joe Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin

‘When I was with Mr. Putin, who has a real problem,’ he said, speaking in calm and quiet tones. ‘He is sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wealth and nothing else. Nothing else. Their economy is like the eight smallest in the world now – largest in the world. He knows he’s in real trouble – which makes him even more dangerous, in my opinion,’ he said. 

Biden spoke after a series of ransomware attacks – many of which are believed to originate in Russia, although the administration did not pin the most recent mass attack on the Kremlin itself.

‘I can’t guarantee this. and you’re as informed as I am,’ he told intelligence community members. ‘But I think it’s more likely we’re going to end up – if we end up in a war – a real shooting war with major power, it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence,’ he said.

Biden referenced his recent summit with Putin in his first address to the Intelligence Community as president

Biden referenced his recent summit with Putin in his first address to the Intelligence Community as president

Biden referenced his recent summit with Putin in his first address to the Intelligence Community as president

'He is sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wealth and nothing else,' said Biden

'He is sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wealth and nothing else,' said Biden

‘He is sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wealth and nothing else,’ said Biden

 Biden also talked up U.S. intelligence capabilities. The nation has been unable to prevent ransom hacks, although the Justice Department did say it was able to claw back more than $2 million of ransom paid in crypto currency after the Colonial Pipeline hack. 

‘He knows that you’re better than his team, and it bothers the hell out of him,’ Biden said of Putin. 

Biden’s comments on Putin come as Russian chess grandmaster and activist Gary Kasparov called for the U.S. to target more sanctions directly at Putin and Russian oligarchs, telling Politico: ‘It’s not an extreme measure. It’s the only effective one.’

He added: ‘Putin doesn’t care about Russia or Russians. There are no national interests, just his.’

Biden also accused Russia of spreading ‘disinformation’ in the 2022 elections, after U.S. intelligence has assessed Russia interfered in 2016 and 2020.  

‘Look what Russia is doing already about the 2022 elections and misinformation,’ he said. ‘It’s a pure violation of our sovereignty.’

He called on U.S. intelligence to ‘take on the rampant disinformation that is making it harder and harder for people to assess the facts, be able to make decisions.’

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