White House Scrambles to Walk Back Joe Biden Nod Indicating He Can Trust Vladimir Putin

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), US President Joe Biden (2nd L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (2n R) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) pose for press ahead of the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva on June 16, 2021. (Photo by Mikhail Metzel / …
MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty

The White House on Wednesday scrambled to explain what Joe Biden meant when he nodded affirmatively in response to a question about whether or not he could trust Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden briefly appeared with Putin for the press ahead of their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

During the chaotic press scrum that ensued, NBC News producer Elyse Perlmutter asked the president if he trusted Putin.

Biden looked at her and nodded in the affirmative, according to her account.

Other journalists in the room reported the same thing.

But the White House press office scrambled to explain what the president meant by nodding, even before they had a chance to talk to Biden personally.

It was a chaotic scrum with reporters shouting over each other. The president was very clearly not responding to any one question, but nodding in acknowledgment to the press generally,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield wrote on social media.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also issued a formal statement to reporters.

“During a chaotic free for all with members of the press shouting questions over each other, the President gave a general head nod in the direction of the media,” Psaki said in a statement to reporters after the meeting began. “He wasn’t responding to any question or anything other than the chaos.”

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