Jun 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Media scuffle breaks out at Biden-Putin summit as Russian security intervenes

Biden and Putin
Photo: Denis Balibouse/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The opening moments of President Biden's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin devolved into chaos on Wednesday, as shoving and yelling broke out among journalists and security officials jostling inside the room where the two leaders were sitting.

Driving the news: Politico's Anita Kumar, who is the White House pool reporter for the summit in Geneva, described the scene as the "most chaotic" media scuffle she has seen at a presidential event in nine years.

Journalists pushed and shoved, yelling at each other to move but no one did. After just a minute or two, Russian security pulled the red rope separating the media from the leaders back to try to keep them away from the presidents. Russian security yelled at journalists to get out and began pushing journalists. Journalists and White House officials screamed back that the Russian security should stop touching us. Your pooler was pushed multiple times, nearly to the ground, as many poolers tripped over the red rope, which was now almost to the ground.
Both presidents watched and listened to the media scuffle in front of them. They appeared amused by the scene. At one point, Biden leaned over and spoke to the interpreter and smiled.

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