It was not a good idea for President Joe Biden to agree to a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this soon into his presidency, former Rep. Pete King told Newsmax on Wednesday while the two world leaders were meeting in Geneva.
As president, ''Ronald Reagan waited four years for his first summit," the New York Republican, part of a panel discussion on Newsmax's "National Report," commented. "John Kennedy is the only president, I know he did one this early in his administration with [Nikita] Khrushchev in Vienna in 1961, and it turned into a disaster. I'm not certain exactly what Joe Biden is going to do with this summit, but I wish him well. He is the president [of the] United States."
Biden and Putin reportedly agreed at their summit to resume arms control talks and to once again place ambassadors in each other's capitals after they were pulled earlier this year. Their discussions wrapped up in less than four hours, and Putin later referred to Biden as a constructive, experienced partner but said there was no friendship between them but instead a "pragmatic dialogue."
King also disagreed with reports that Biden would be "somehow" tougher with Putin than Donald Trump was as president.
"The fact is, President Trump gave armaments to Ukraine, which the Obama-Biden administration did not do," King said. "He also actually bombed Russian troops in Syria. So President Trump did take firm action against Russia. You may question some of his conversations with Putin, but on the bottom line, he was much tougher against Russia than President [Barack] Obama ever was."
King on Wednesday also discussed reports that thousands of hours of surveillance footage from the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol have not yet been released, and he says that the aftermath of the Jan. 6 violence is comparable to the investigation after the 9/11 attacks.
"I was very involved in the 9/11 Commission," said King, adding that 9/11 and the Capitol riots are both marked by a "series of intelligence failures" before they happened.
"This has to be fully investigated," King said. "What's come out so far has shown that the FBI could have done better. We also know that the mayor of Washington, D.C., specifically turned down National Guard troops several days before so, and also Nancy Pelosi [did] as speaker of the House. She works with the Capitol Police. So there's many areas of responsibility here."
But King said he's not as concerned with pointing fingers as he is to making sure "we never, ever have this again, an assault on our nation's Capitol, which was disgraceful."
After the 9/11 attacks, it was determined that "we can't be operating in the silence of this echo chamber," he said. "We have to make sure that everything is coordinated."
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