Vladimir Putin has wished Joe Biden “good health” after the U.S. President said he agreed with describing the Russian leader as a “killer.”
In an escalating diplomatic spat, Putin did not disagree with Biden’s assessment, but suggested he also look closer to home.
“I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard, we used to say, ‘It takes one to know one.’ And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke,” Putin said in remarks shown on state TV on Thursday.
“We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are.”
Putin said that, in reply to Biden, he would wish him good health, and that he said that “without any irony or joke,” although he appeared to be suppressing a smile.
Biden made the “killer” comment in an interview with ABC News, broadcast on Wednesday, in which he also said Putin would “pay the price” for meddling in US elections, and that he had told the Russian president he didn’t believe he had a soul.
In response, Russia recalled its ambassador to Washington. “These are very bad remarks on the part of the U.S. president,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. “He [Biden] clearly does not want to improve ties and we will have to proceed from that understanding.”