Ahead of Wednesday’s highly-anticipated bilateral meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Fox News host Sean Hannity predicted yet another embarrassing performance from the commander in chief, whom he accused of replacing his predecessor’s “America First” policies with what he called “America dead last” priorities.
Hannity took to the airwaves during his Tuesday night broadcast and offered something of a preview of the summit in Geneva, and his advance expectations of Biden’s performance were low, to say the least.
Highlighting what he viewed as the daunting mismatch between Biden and Putin – whom the host argued “runs his country like a massive crime syndicate” – Hannity opined that “like most organized criminals, Vladimir only responds to strength, he doesn’t respond to weakness.”
As such, Hannity continued, the meeting was destined for disaster, given that “under Biden, the era of peace through strength is over. ‘America First’ policies have been replaced with America dead last policies.”
Pointing to the fact that “just last month, Russian hackers literally wrecked America’s oil and gas supply,” and that “Joe inexplicably rewards Putin by lifting sanctions and giving a waiver to Russia to build a pipeline so they can supply the lifeblood of our western European allies’ energy,” references to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the administration’s removal of restrictions on the firm overseeing construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Hannity expressed little optimism, indeed.
Beyond what he characterized as Biden’s ill-advised policy decisions, Hannity articulated concerns about the overall impression the American president was likely to make on the world stage, given his propensity for gaffes, malapropisms, and worse. “Biden’s appeasement strategy is not the only thing at play here. During Joe’s trip abroad the entire world is seeing firsthand how weak, how frail, how confused, and what a cognitive struggling mess Joe really is,” the host explained.
The meeting between the two leaders proceeded as planned, and Putin later described the summit as “constructive,” while Biden said to reporters, “I did what I came to do,” as CBS News noted. As Hannity discussed prior to the event, however, Biden declined to hold a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, a move many observers attributed to internal administration concerns about the president’s ability to hold his own in the face of Putin’s characteristically combative style.
Hannity seized on Biden’s reluctance to appear together with Putin – despite the fact that former President Donald Trump had done just that back in 2018 – saying, “the world is watching this mess…I think it’s obvious now to the entire world why there isn’t going to be a joint press conference. Vladimir will take advantage of Joe’s clear cognitive weakness and constant state of confusion.”
Even CNN commentator Jeff Zeleny seemed to agree that Biden’s unwillingness – or inability – to engage not just with Putin, but also with the press, is something that merits further scrutiny, saying on Wednesday, “I have never seen a president, covering the last four of them, who is so protected by his aides in terms of not wanting him to answer some questions.”