White House pushes back on report Biden affirmed he could trust Putin: 'Not responding to any one question'

Media top headlines June 16

CNN’s Andrew McCabe getting slammed for claiming FBI still doesn’t know motive behind 2017 shooting of GOP lawmakers, Associated Press announcing they will no longer release mugshots, suspect names in minor crime stories, and Charles Barkley criticizing TNT bosses over cancel culture round out today’s top media headlines.

The White House is pushing back on reports that President Biden appeared to tell reporters Wednesday he trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Biden was simply “nodding in acknowledgment to the press generally.”

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield responded to a tweet from liberal PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who recounted a reporter asking Biden during a scrum in Geneva if he trusted Putin. Alcindor wrote, “President Biden looked directly at the reporter and nodded affirmatively.”

“It was a chaotic scrum with reporters shouting over each other,” Bedingfield tweeted back. “POTUS was very clearly not responding to any one question, but nodding in acknowledgment to the press generally. He said just two days ago in his presser: ‘verify, then trust.'”

The TV pooler, NBC News’ Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner, wrote in her report that Biden “looked me in the eye” and nodded, however, when she asked the question.

“The two leaders were sitting when we walked into the room, with Blinken to the left of Biden and Lavrov to the right of Putin. We missed the formal remarks by the time we were in the room,” she wrote in her pool report. “I asked Biden if they can trust each other, and followed with Mr. President do you trust him. He looked me in the eye and nodded affirmatively.”

Biden and Putin held their first face-to-face summit since Biden took office on Wednesday. 

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy explained that a small U.S. delegation traveled with the president to Geneva, and said an even smaller group was expected to be permitted to go into the room where Biden and Putin were meeting. Doocy explained that a video camera was permitted, briefly, in the room, but that the producer with the audio equipment was not.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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