Biden apologized for losing his temper when a CNN reporter pressed him on Putin, saying he ‘shouldn’t have been such a wise guy’

Joe Biden talking to reporters.
President Joe Biden speaking with reporters before boarding Air Force One in Geneva on Wednesday. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
  • President Joe Biden apologized for losing his temper with a CNN reporter on Wednesday.
  • “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” he told reporters.
  • CNN’s Kaitlan Collins had pressed Biden on his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed regret over losing his temper when the CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins pressed him on his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.

“I owe my last questioner an apology,” Biden told reporters on the tarmac before boarding Air Force One for his flight back to Washington, DC. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.”

He went on to say: “To be a good reporter you have got to be negative, you have got to have a negative view on life, OK, it seems to me. You never ask a positive question.”

“I apologize for having been short,” Biden added.

Biden’s apology came shortly after he grew testy with Collins at the end of a news conference following his meeting with Putin.

“Why are you so confident he will change his behavior, Mr. President?” Collins shouted at Biden as he was leaving the briefing.

Biden turned back to answer Collins, raising his finger: “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 Recount (@therecount) June 16, 2021

“Let’s get it straight,” a visibly upset Biden continued. “I said what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacts to them and diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything. I’m just stating a fact.”

Collins again questioned the president on the issue, saying Putin refused to acknowledge any Russian interference in elections and downplayed human-rights abuses during his one-on-one with Biden.

“So how does that amount to a constructive meeting as president?” Collins asked.

“If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business,” Biden replied before walking out.

-Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 16, 2021

Collins later said on CNN that Biden’s apology was “completely unnecessary.”

“I do appreciate the president’s apology, but it is not necessary,” she said. “Because of course, it is just our job to ask the president questions – that’s the business that we are in – and of course, we just want to get answers so then people can find out what the president’s mindset is.”