Biden-Putin summit begins in chaos as press push each other to get in and the Swiss lock out some of the media
- Biden and Putin summit begins in chaos as media scramble to get inside
- Some American reporters were left out amid push to get into the room
- Inside, journalists pushed and shoved one another
- Biden and Putin watched, looking amused
- Swiss officials tried to restore order; ‘go away,’ one said
- Reporters tripped over one another to try and get shot of two leaders
Part of the small pool of reporters that travel with the president at all times was left outside. The reporters were pushed and shoved by security officials and Russian media, according to the pool report of the event.
‘There’s an extremely chaotic scene at the door,’ the pool reporter traveling with President Biden reported.
A security officer indicates to the media to step back as (from left) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US President Joe Biden, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Security personnel corral members of the press pools covering President Joe Biden’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
Several American reporters were left outside the summit in the chaos
Another reporter stationed outside the Villa la Grange tweeted a photo of a crush of media trying to get in the building, where the two leaders were meeting in an ornate, 18th century library.
‘Chaotic scene outside the villa where Putin and Biden are meeting. Russian reporters are jostling for position and U.S. officials are telling them to stand back,’ the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Restuccia wrote.
US and Russian security along with Swiss government officials tried to bring order to the chaos but there was much screaming and shouting.
White House officials repeatedly tried to get the American media inside, saying that the American and Russian delegations had agreed on the number of journalists allowed in the room.
Reports from inside the room described the scuffle that took place as reporters jockeyed for position while the two presidents watched with a smile.
The chaos played out on television, with video showing aides trying to push reporters back, journalists getting in each others’ way and into the camera frame, and lots of shouting.
One photographer got in the shot of the television camera as a journalist tried to get him to move so they could get a clear shot.
‘Can you move? Because I can’t get a shot of both of them,’ the camera crew said.
‘Can you move? Because we can’t get a shot,’ the person repeated.
‘No, I can’t do that,’ the photographer replied.
As the arguing continued, officials stepped in.
‘Go away please,’ one Swiss official was heard saying. ‘Go away.’
Members of the media scramble to get into the villa where Biden and Putin were meeting
Russian security pulled the red rope separating the media from the leaders back to try to keep reporters away from the presidents. Russian security yelled at journalists to get out and began pushing them.
Members of the media tripped over all the cords and equipment in the room as the event unfolded.
Both the reporters and White House officials screamed back that the Russian security should stop touching the members of the press.
Watching it all were Biden and Putin with their respective translators at their sides.
Also there were Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
It was so packed, with officials and press shouting over each other, it was hard to hear what President Biden said to Putin.
At the beginning of the summit, Swiss President Guy Parmelin welcomed the two leaders to ‘the city of peace.’