NY Times: Putin Incensed by Obama's 'Bored Kid' Remark

Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 10:42 PM

By Cathy Burke

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A comment by President Obama that Vladimir Putin looked "like the bored kid in the back of the classroom" apparently "infuriated" the Russian president, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The comment came Aug. 9 at a news conference concerning a showdown with Putin over Edward Snowden, the former defense contractor who leaked top-secret details of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.

Putin ultimately gave Snowden temporary asylum over the objections of Obama, and the president was asked about his working relationship with the Russian leader.

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"I know the press likes to focus on body language, and he's got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. But the truth is that when we're in conversations together, oftentimes it's very productive," Obama said.

The president went on to say that he didn't have "a bad personal relationship with Putin," and that "when we have conversations, they’re candid, they’re blunt; oftentimes, they’re constructive."

But Putin was not amused — and the remark just "intensified" Putin's suspicion of Obama, as did his abrupt cancellation of a meeting scheduled for next week in Moscow, The Times reported.

"The comment infuriated" Putin, The Times said, citing an unnamed Russian official.



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