Vladimir Putin apparently couldn't believe how fit Biden was in 2021, per a new book.
In The Last Politician, Franklin Foer wrote about how the Russian president couldn't believe his eyes.
Apparently, Putin had taken it to heart that Biden was a feeble man before their 2021 summit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is so well known for his shirtless photo ops that even fellow world leaders have mocked his appearance. But it was Putin who couldn't believe that President Joe Biden was looking good during their 2021 summit, according to a new book.
Putin apparently had taken to heart Russian propaganda that depicted Biden as feeble. Former President Donald Trump also spent a large chunk of the 2020 presidential election portraying Biden, who is roughly three and a half years older than him, as a senile old man who was too "sleepy" to take on leading the free world.
"The Russian press had spent months portraying Biden as a fragile old man, a piece of spin that Putin had internalized. But when he greeted Biden, he seemed taken aback by his appearance. 'You look good,' he exclaimed," journalist Franklin Foer wrote in The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden's White House and the Struggle for America's Future, which was published on Tuesday.
Putin, Foer wrote, was so struck by the fact that Scranton Joe wasn't scrawny that he had to tell then-outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel about it.
"When Putin called Angela Merkel to deliver the postmortem of the meeting, he told her, 'President Biden is very fit.'"
Ultimately, Biden's June 2021 Geneva summit was unable to rescue US-Russian relations which crashed following Putin's ordered massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Troubling signs began just weeks after their meeting when Putin openly complained about the "double standard" between how suspected Capitol rioters were treated versus other protestors.
As for Biden's view of his own physique, Biden was spotted shirtless earlier this summer at Delaware's Rehoboth Beach.
Putin took it personally when other leaders pointed out how his approach to life mirrors Matthew McConaughey's early-to-mid-2000s run of romcoms. Then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson kicked off a round of jokes about Putin when he quipped about whether leaders should take their clothes off for a 2022 G7 summit photo, "We all have to show that we're tougher than Putin."
"I don't know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist … but I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case," the Russian leader fired back.
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