CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pressed US President Joe Biden on why he is confident Russian President Vladimir Putin will change his behavior following the leaders’ meeting in a sharp, confrontational exchange.
Biden turned around after Collins finished her question to respond.
“I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior. Where the hell – what do you do all the time. When did I say I was confident?” he asked, walking back toward reporters.
He continued, “What I said was, 'let’s get it straight – I said, what will change their behavior is if the rest of the world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything. I’m just stating a fact.”
Collins noted that Putin denied involvement in cyberattacks, downplayed human rights abuses, and refused to say Alexey Navalny’s name during his press conference, and how he could be sure that anything would change with the Russian leader.
Biden responded, “If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.”
He did not answer her question as he departed the stage.
Later, before boarding Air Force One, President Joe Biden apologized to Collins for his answer at the press conference.
“I owe my last questioner an apology. I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with the last answer I gave,” he said.
Interviewed by CNN Wolf Blitzer after Biden apologized, Collins said she was "just doing my job" when asking Biden that question.
"That is completely unnecessary from the President. He did not have to apologize, though I do appreciate he did in front of the other reporters as he was about to get on Air Force One," Collins said. "When I was asking him that question, I was just doing my job, which is to question the President, regardless if they're a Democrat or a Republican, and asking the President a question does not mean it has a negative slant or a positive slant."
"It is simply a way to get into the President's mindset of how he is viewing something, something as major as a meeting with a world leader who has interfered in US elections, jailed his political opponents, dismissed human rights, as he did at a press conference here in Geneva just earlier today. And so I do appreciate the President's apology, but it is not necessary. Because, of course, it's just our job to ask the President questions, that's the business that we are in," Collins continued.
Watch the moment: