President Joe Biden sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for a wide-ranging interview Tuesday in which he said his message to migrants was to not come to the border and that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign if allegations he committed sexual harassment are confirmed.
Biden also told Stephanopoulos that he agreed Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “killer” and would “pay a price” for interfering in U.S. elections.
And he said it would be “tough” to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline set out in a deal former President Donald Trump’s administration made with the Taliban.
The United States’ chief intelligence office on Tuesday released an unclassified report on foreign meddling in the 2020 election that concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw sweeping efforts aimed at “denigrating” President Joe Biden’s candidacy. Biden told Stephanopoulos that he had warned Putin about a potential response during a call in late January.
“He will pay a price,” Biden said. “We had a long talk, he and I, when we- I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.”
Stephanopoulos asked: “So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?”
“Mmm hmm, I do,” Biden replied.
While the president said “you’ll see” that Putin is “going to pay,” he did not elaborate. He did say, though, that it was possible to “walk and chew gum at the same time for places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.” He pointed to his decision to extend an arms agreement with Russia in January.
Biden also addressed his administration’s review of a deal former President Donald Trump made with the Taliban under which the U.S. would pull out all of its troops from Afghanistan by May 1 if the Taliban met certain requirements.
“I’m in the process of making that decision now as to when they’ll leave,” Biden said. “The fact is that, that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the president- the former president- worked out. And so, we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision’s going to be — it’s in process now.”
Biden said it would be “tough” for all service members to leave by May 1. “It could happen,” he said, “but it is tough.”
Biden told Stephanopoulos that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign if an investigation confirms claims he committed sexual harassment.
“I know you said you want the investigation to continue,” Stephanopoulos told Biden, referring to a probe by New York’s attorney general into allegations Cuomo had harassed several women. “If the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign?”
“Yes,” the president replied. “I think he’ll probably end up being prosecuted, too.”
Seven accusers have in recent weeks raised allegations against the Democratic governor, and one claim he groped a woman was referred to police in Albany, N.Y. A number of top Democrats from New York, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, have called on Cuomo to step down.
Cuomo has denied the allegations.
Biden has so far stopped short of backing an immediate end to Cuomo’s governorship.
“There should be an investigation to determine whether what she says is true,” Biden told Stephanopoulos during a wide-ranging interview in Darby, Pennsylvania. “That’s what’s going on now.”