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Biden claims he knew Putin in 1980s

The US president has alleged that he was concerned about the Russian leader as far back as 40 years ago

US President Joe Biden has made an apparent mental stumble in trying to disparage Vladimir Putin, saying he has known the Russian leader for more than four decades and has been concerned about him all that time because he’s “not a decent man.”

Biden’s latest gaffe came in an ABC News interview on Thursday in Normandy, France, where he was attending a ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Asked about President Putin, he said, “I’ve known him for 40 years. He’s concerned me for 40 years. He’s not a decent man. He’s a dictator, and he’s struggling to make sure he holds his country together while still keeping this assault going [in Ukraine].” 

The comment drew online ridicule, as observers pointed out that Putin was an undercover Soviet KGB agent in Leningrad in the early 1980s. He turned 30 in 1982 and worked in East Germany during the latter half of the decade. He didn’t become an internationally known public figure until 1999, after his surprise appointment as acting prime minister.

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“Either Biden is lying, or he is admitting he was in contact with a KGB agent since 1984, or Biden’s brain is so cooked that he doesn’t know what on earth he is talking about,” former US Senate staffer Steve Guest said.

The 81-year-old Biden, who is ten years older than Putin, was a US senator from 1973 until he took office as vice president in 2009. He reportedly met Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, for the first time in March 2011.

Biden has repeatedly insulted Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and other world leaders. For instance, he called Putin a “crazy SOB” in February, and he claimed last year that China was run by “bad folks.” The Kremlin has denounced such attacks as “shameful.”

Polls have shown that most Americans believe Biden is mentally unfit to serve as president. A Wall Street Journal report earlier this week claimed that beyond his frequent mental gaffes in public, Biden was showing “signs of slipping” in closed-door meetings with US lawmakers. The article was based on interviews with 45 people, including Republicans and Democrats, who had spent time with the president in recent months.

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US Representative Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who served as White House physician under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, told Fox News that the media report confirmed what he has been saying about Biden for years. “He’s got significant issues,” the congressman said. “He shouldn’t have the job. You know, it’s a national security issue for us.”

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