According to Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Russian President Vladimir Putin only had one goal in mind when meeting with President Joe Biden, and that was to find out what he could get away with concerning this administration.
“There’s no doubt that Putin believes, based on his previous interaction with Biden and watching American politics, that Biden is someone he wants to test,” Rubio said during an appearance on Wednesday’s “Stinchfield,” going on to note the former KGB agent is a “psychological operative” and “trained intelligence officer.”
Rubiio went on to tell host Grant Stinchfield that Putin was thinking, “I’m going to test this guy. How far can I go? What can I do? What is this guy’s pain tolerance?”
“I am certain he went in looking for an assessment, a personal assessment, what was Biden willing to put up with,” the Florida senator added.
The true deal-making will be made after Putin knows this information, Rubio said, noting Putin “views this as a zero sum game,” where his world authority is more measured by “his ability to embarrass and frustrate the United States” than actually making diplomatic progress.advertisement — content continues below
“He doesn’t care what the world thinks about Vladimir Putin,” Rubio went on to say. “He’s not trying to be popular in the world. Vladimir Putin wants to restore Russia to great power standing. He can’t do that economically, so he has to do that militarily and asymmetrically by being able to wield power.”
Putin uses the mantra that he has “restored Russia to greatness,” Rubio stated.
“That’s an argument Putin relies on for political currency inside the country,” Rubio commented. “He doesn’t care what they think about him in Paris, or in London, or in Washington, or in L.A.”
Rubio then stated that President Biden’s decision to forego having a joint face-to-face press conference was probably a “wise” choice.
“Given what we’ve seen recently from this president, it’s probably a wise choice to no put him in that situation one on one,” the senator said. “Look, I’m not a fan of Vladimir Putin, but I think he felt in a setting like he could have an advantage and really press the case.”
“We’ll never really know what came up in that conversation,” Rubio added.
Rubio then criticized Biden by stating that in his solo press conference he created a list of 16 “critical infrastructure” industries that Russia should not attack with its cyber warfare capabilities.
“That was an unforced error,” Rubio continued. “I hope he didn’t really give him that list. I think, if I’m Putin, I’m going to wave that list around and say, ‘hey, it’s not on your list.'”
He then explained that cybercriminals are not going to be rooted from Russia by Putin, especially if they are giving his rivals a hard time.
“If Putin wants them, he can find them,” the senator said. “He can find anyone he wants in Russia and he can shut them down. He doesn’t want to shut them down.”
“Sometimes, maybe he’s hired them to do work on behalf of Russia, because it provides him deniability: ‘Well, it’s not us; we’re not the ones doing it. We’ll see what we can do,” he added.