Speed Reads

'be prepared'

Biden calls Putin a killer, vows he'll 'pay a price' for interfering in the election

After a U.S. intelligence assessment concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, President Biden is promising he'll "pay a price."

Biden spoke with ABC News after a declassified intelligence assessment on Tuesday said Putin authorized "influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden's candidacy" in 2020. When asked what price the Russian leader will pay for these actions, Biden promised that "you'll see shortly."

"He will pay a price," Biden said, adding that he previously spoke with Putin and warned him that "if I establish this occurred, then be prepared."

The intelligence report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that Russia sought to denigrate Biden's 2020 candidacy while supporting former President Donald Trump's, as well as undermining confidence in the election. The report also said that Iran carried out an influence campaign seeking to undercut Trump's re-election bid, while China "considered but did not deploy" influence efforts.

When ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if he believes Putin is a "killer," the president responded, "I do." He also recalled once meeting with Putin and telling the Russian leader, "I don't think you have a soul." According to Biden, Putin responded, "We understand each other." Brendan Morrow