There will be consequences for Russian attempts to meddle in last year’s US elections, US President Joe Biden vowed in an interview on Wednesday, even as the Kremlin insisted there was no truth to the allegations.
“He will pay a price,” Biden said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin during an ABC News interview before referencing a phone call the two had in January.
“I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.’”
A report released on Tuesday by the office of national intelligence director Avril Haines alleges that Russia tried to influence the 2020 elections in favour of then incumbent president Donald Trump, in an attempt to sow discord in the country.
As it was, the election took weeks to be fully certified and, even now, many Americans insist that Trump actually won, although no proof of this fact has surfaced and multiple courts have ruled that Biden’s win is certifiable.
According to the report, Putin and his government approved and carried out the action, which focused on a misinformation campaign unlike, according to allegations, in 2016 when it attempted to undermine the infrastructure of the electoral system.
Biden didn’t say what the consequences might be for Putin, but also said the two countries can still work together on areas of joint interest.
However, when interviewer George Stephanopoulos asked whether the president thought that Putin was a “killer,” Biden replied “I do.”
Even as the Biden interview was airing, the Kremlin was already denying the contents of the report, calling them “wrong, absolutely unfounded and untenable,” in comments to Interfax.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia had not interfered in the 2020 US elections or any other. Alleging otherwise can only damage “already strained” US-Russian relations, he said.