UPDATED 8:28 PM PT – Sunday, June 13, 2021
Republican critics of Joe Biden have been apprehensive about his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Sunday, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Texas Rep. Michael McCaul (R) claimed Biden is entering the meeting at a weak position.
McCaul cited the Biden administration’s reluctance to sanction top Russian officials for their alleged roles in poisoning Russia’s opposition leader Alexi Navalny and recent cyberattacks on American soil. He added how Biden is allowing Russia to build their Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, which he warned empowers the Putin regime’s geo-political power.
LR @RepMcCaul w/ @ThisWeekABC on @POTUS-Putin Summit: “The price for admission to this seat was too high. For instance, #NordStream2 pipeline. The president waived, in the ‘national interest’ Nord Stream 2 [sanctions] – which will be Putin’s pipeline going into Europe.”
— House Foreign Affairs GOP (@HouseForeignGOP) June 13, 2021
McCaul urged Biden to take a stronger stance against Russia in light of recent cyberattacks. In December, cybersecurity experts became aware of the SolarWinds attack, which was a nine-month effort by Russian hackers to infiltrate the American government and several businesses.
Nearly 18,000 agencies and companies were affected in the attack, including the DOJ, the State Department and Microsoft. Additionally, there was a hacking group by the name DarkSide who shutdown the Colonial Pipeline company for several days last month, which is responsible for supplying nearly half of the East Coast’s gasoline. Biden commented saying he believes Russia bears some responsibility for the attack.
The Texas representative said he foresees the meeting could have heavy implications on international affairs and is calling it the “most powerful and most dangerous” stop on Biden’s European tour.
Some analysts are calling on Biden to look back at history before meeting with Putin and are pointing to the disastrous meeting between President John F. Kennedy and USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. Kennedy was reportedly under prepared and overconfident, whereas Khrushchev used this to move Soviet missiles to Cuba, foreshadowing the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Meanwhile, Biden is expected to meet with Putin in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.