Biden vows Russia’s Putin will ‘pay a price’ for election meddling

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WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin will face consequences for directing efforts to swing the November 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, and that they would come soon.

“He will pay a price,” Biden told ABC News in an interview broadcast on Wednesday. Asked what the consequences would be, he said, “You’ll see shortly.”

A U.S. intelligence report on Tuesday bolstered longstanding allegations that Putin was behind Moscow’s election interference, an accusation Russia called baseless.

At the same time, Biden noted that “there’s places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together” such as renewing the START nuclear agreement, adding that the two leaders have a known history.

“I know him relatively well,” Biden said, adding that “the most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience … is just know the other guy.”

Of Putin, Biden said he does not think the Russian leader has a soul. Asked if he thought Putin was a killer, he told ABC: “I do.”

Biden defeated Trump in the election and took office two months ago. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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