Journalist drops bombshell question to Vladimir Putin’s face and becomes Twitter hero

<p>ABC News’ Rachel Scott went toe-to-toe with Putin on Wednesday</p>

ABC News’ Rachel Scott went toe-to-toe with Putin on Wednesday

ABC News

A US news correspondent went viral after an ice-cold takedown of Russian president Vladimir Putin - which appeared to temporarily put the leader onto the back foot.

His press conference followed his first face-to-face meeting with Joe Biden since he was elected US president.

ABC News’ Rachel Scott pressed Putin on his treatment of political opponents, and began by asking: “President Biden has said he will respond if cyber attacks from Russia do not stop. I’m curious, what did he tell you? Did he make any threats?

“And a quick followup if I may, sir. The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned or jailed is long. Alexey Navalny’s organization calls for free and fair elections, an end to corruption, but Russia has outlawed that organization, calling it extremist. And you now have prevented anyone who supports him to run for office.

“For my question for you Mr. President: What are you so afraid of?”

He appeared needled by the question - which is a grilling he’s likely not used to in Russia, where a free press is heavily suppressed.

Awkward! Vladimir Putin isn\u2019t used to a probing, critical press...Awkward! Vladimir Putin isn’t used to a probing, critical press...ABC News

He tried to compare the arrests of his political opposition in Russia to the arrests of Black Lives Matter protesters and those involved in the January 6 insurrection.

But Scott, to her credit, pressed him again: “You didn’t answer my question, sir. If all of your political opponents are dead or in prison, poisoned, doesn’t that send a message that you do not want a fair political fight?”

He responded: “On the question of who is murdering whom, people rioted and went into the Congress in the US with political demands, and many people were declared as criminals and they are threatened with imprisonment for 20 to 25 years.

“These people were immediately arrested after those events. On what grounds we don’t know always. Others were just shot on the spot and unarmed as well.”

On Twitter, it’s fair to say, people stanned Scott:

Some speculated on the potential risk she’s at, after potentially angering the Russian leader:

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