Vladimir Putin probably had to wait 20 minutes for an elevator. Yeah, that's the ticket . . .
Josh Earnest, Barack Obama's spokesman, has excused Vladimir Putin's snub of the President of the United States, in which the Russian strongman turned up 20 minutes late for their lunch at the UN yesterday. On today's Morning Joe, Earnest lamely defended Vlad's tardiness: "anybody that's been around the UN during the General Assembly knows it's total chaos inside that building, so people ae running late quite frequently. " Right. And if you believe that, we've got an oceanfront condo in Moscow to sell you.
Of course, why would anyone be surprised that a president who didn't honor his redline when Assad gassed his own people would look the other way when Putin embarrasses him in front of the world?
Even when Andrea Mitchell pressed Earnest, dismissing his "busy building" excuse, saying that arriving 20 minutes late, the last of all guests, was a Putin "signal," Earnest piteously continued to defend Vlad. "
Time to break out the Omega Theta Pi paddle: thank you sir, may I have another?
Note: turning up late for lunch might not have been Putin's only snub of Obama. Have a look at the photo below. After Obama sticks out his hand for a shake, Putin pauses while regarding it as if it were a dead fish.
NICOLLE WALLACE: I don't think anyone is making it about personalities, but what is the plan?
JOSH EARNEST: But that is what impacts our decision making. This isn't about trying to check Vladimir Putin, or trying to keep Vladimir Putin's ego in check.
WALLACE: I think it's too late for that, don't you?
EARNEST: There's no denying that it's quite healthy, but, uh--which is fine.
. . .
ANDREA MITCHELL: Just briefly you acknowledge that Vladimir Putin has an ego, a healthy ego. What about the Barack and Vlad meeting, and the dynamics there? What was it like personally?
WALLACE: Was he mad that he was 20 minutes late? I'd be mad if my friend was late.
EARNEST: [nervous laughter] Well, anybody that's been around the UN during the General Assembly knows it's total chaos inside that building, so people are running late quite frequently.
MITCHELL: But when you come in and then you're the last person to come in, and Ban Ki-moon is already giving his speech, that's, that's a signal.
EARNEST: Well, I'm not sure what he had planned before the lunch.