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President Vladimir Putin and President Biden shake hands
President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday in an historic sit-down between the world leaders.
Photographers captured the key moment where the pair shook hands and and greeted each other.
During said hand-shake, Biden flashed Putin a smile before the two headed into the summit in Geneva, Switzerland.
The grin could be interpreted as a charming tactic ahead of the high stakes talk - or possibly an awkward smile to ease the tensions between the two.
CNN’s Jim Sciutto seems to believe it was the first option, describing how Biden’s “public posturing” was projecting “strength.”
“The handshake, Biden looked in the eye of Putin with a smile and Putin looked away … These [moments] are about public posturing and about how you project strength.”
CNN’s @jimsciutto gushes over Biden shaking hands w/ Putin: "The handshake, Biden looked in the eye of Putin with a… https://t.co/pS8PXhMxus — Tom Elliott (@Tom Elliott)
There were people that agreed with Sciutto’s analysis of the exchange.
That Biden smile is the best after shaking Putin’s hand. Joe just said to all of us
I got this. — Danny Hulse ♌️🏳️🌈🇺🇸🐘🐈🦁🐋🌴 (@Danny Hulse ♌️🏳️🌈🇺🇸🐘🐈🦁🐋🌴)
@rxjef77 I love Biden's aggressive smile--so much better than Trump's frightened, cowed countenance in the presence of Putin. — 😷 LBD CCC-SLP. (@😷 LBD CCC-SLP.)
Though some did not arrive at the same conclusion.
#JimSciutto is a lickspittle sycophant. https://t.co/wi5rIsQhGe — Milo™ (@Milo™)
imagine believing that joe biden projected strength any time in recent history. 😂 @CNN https://t.co/4eeimja8Hk — politically homeless american (@politically homeless american)
@27khv @DanMKervick @jimsciutto @markmackinnon More like Biden couldn't take his eyes off Putin, but Putin maintain… https://t.co/jJmnIRGLpB — Horned_Owl (@Horned_Owl)
Some Republicans were simply not happy that Biden showed off his pearly whites to Putin.
Oh please, people! Look at that smile! #JoeBiden smiling with Putin. Where’s #Biden fake anger in that smile? No wh… https://t.co/0YqgF0dAlf — hopemagah (@hopemagah)
In a now-deleted tweet, Mike Pence’s former spokesperson Alyssa Farah said they ensured that Pence did not smile in his photo-op with Putin to reflect the gravity of the situation.
Despite deleting this tweet, Farah retweeted a different post that criticised Biden’s grin.
Is a big toothy grin a good thing in this context? Navalny is languishing in prison and might not survive it. https://t.co/qTn4bfIA9F — Rebeccah Heinrichs (@Rebeccah Heinrichs)
People also compared Biden and Putin’s meeting to former President Donald Trump’s meeting with the Russian president in 2018.
What a difference. #Putin #Trump #Biden https://t.co/oJ1ES6AAnj — MsMueller&HerCatsRVaccinated (@MsMueller&HerCatsRVaccinated)
Putin owning trump..
Biden owning Putin.😉🇺🇸🤘🇺🇸🤘🇺🇸🤘😎 https://t.co/kEo3RsJ5YZ — 🐙🦀🐚𝓢𝓱𝓮𝓻🐚🦀🐙 (@🐙🦀🐚𝓢𝓱𝓮𝓻🐚🦀🐙)
I’m not a body language expert but there is a pretty noticeable difference in Putin’s body language. Same goes for… https://t.co/ktblbFYIsK — William Anthony "Get Your Booster Shot" Hirsch (@William Anthony "Get Your Booster Shot" Hirsch)
Some speculated that Biden flashing his gnashers made Putin feel uncomfortable.
Notice the difference in body language from Trump-Putin to Biden-Putin.
Biden looks relaxed, Putin looks uncomfor… https://t.co/c52IYOEDHv — Angry Staffer (@Angry Staffer)
Putin looked a little out of place, he didn’t know what to do with his hands and kept glancing at Biden who sat wit… https://t.co/2nCng7N5my — Cherrylann St.John (@Cherrylann St.John)
Nobody on the face of the earth is missing Donald Trump more today than Vladimir Putin. https://t.co/H2w1M4qnB5 — JustMePam (@JustMePam)
Joe Biden is enjoying every moment making Putin go through some things. https://t.co/spZP4CktQ8 — Christopher Bouzy (@Christopher Bouzy)
But many disagreed, referencing a picture which showed the two world leaders both smiling at one point.
Love the smile on Putin's face. He appears to agree with the American ppl that Biden is a unelected & unqualified b… https://t.co/eHIWGCYDZd — Samantha Jones (@Samantha Jones)
Also notably, smiles from Biden and Putin. https://t.co/LHwu2n8Mup https://t.co/50EMBynjjy — Nick Rizzuto (@Nick Rizzuto)
Anyway... who knew a smile could prompt such a reaction?