Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday revealed that he had some tough words for Vladimir Putin during their last meeting.
“When I was last with Putin and we were in his office alone, and he wanted to show me his magnificent office, and it was, and I said it’s amazing what capitalism will do,” said Biden before dropping the burn. “And I said, and I wasn’t being a wise guy, I said, ‘Mr. President I’m looking in your eyes and you have no soul.'”
According to Biden, Putin replied: “We understand one another.”
Biden made his remarks while receiving the Zbigniew Brzezinski Prize from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The august award honors those who promote “the importance of geostrategic thinking with a transcending moral purpose.”
The footage of Biden aired on “Morning Joe” on Friday — which is co-hosted by the late Zbigniew Brzezinski’s daughter, Mika Brzezinski.
Biden’s remarks and Putin’s ambiguous rejoinder provoked some gasps from the assembled crowd.
The zinger appear to be a back-handed reference to former President George W. Bush’s fateful statement about a 2001 meeting with Putin in which he said he “was able to get a sense of [Putin’s] soul” after looking into his eyes.