Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (Associated Press)

Joe Biden to Vladimir Putin: "I don't think you have a soul"

The vice president claims he told the Russian autocrat to his face that he lacked basic humanity


Elias Isquith
July 21, 2014 7:16PM (UTC)

More than a decade ago, President George W. Bush claimed that he looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes, got a "sense of his soul," and determined the Russian autocrat and former KGB agent to be a good person.

In a new, long profile in the New Yorker, Vice President Joe Biden claims he had a similar experience with Putin, but reached a polar opposite conclusion.

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"I had an interpreter, and when [Putin] was showing me his office I said, 'It's amazing what capitalism will do, won't it? A magnificent office!'" Biden recounted, saying Putin laughed in response.

"As I turned, I was this close to him," Biden continued, indicating the two men were face-to-face. "I said, 'Mr. Prime Minister, I'm looking into your eyes, and I don't think you have a soul.'"

According to Biden, Putin smirked and said in response that the two men "understand one another."

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While few would deny the drama of Biden's anecdote, however, readers should keep in mind Biden's history of remembering things a bit differently than others.


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Foreign Policy George W. Bush Joe Biden New Yorker Russia Vladimir Putin

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