Biden not signaling how he’ll confront Putin as summit nears

President Biden took questions on Russia, the Jan. 6 insurrection and more at the NATO summit in Brussels.
6:28 | 06/14/21

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Transcript for Biden not signaling how he’ll confront Putin as summit nears
Let's go to ABC news political director Rick Klein ABC's congressional correspondent Rachel Scott and foreign correspondent in panel. A little bit more on all of this Rachel where a lot of questions there about Russia and how Biden plans to confront. Blatter ripped food nothings like cyber attacks and human rights abuses. What do you make of his answers there it seems like human ones to give a little bit but he's playing a lot close to the best. I think it's clear that president Biden and the White House which they have said before. Don't have super high expectations. For this very high stakes meeting you heard the president they are being a little reluctant to even preview. His message. So president Vladimir food and he said when asked by air Cecilia Vega who was it in the room right now that the United States will respond. Did things that they view as aggression but he's not gonna get ahead of himself. On what exactly he is going to say there's a lot of questions about whether or not president Biden believes that he is the one that could get. Russia to sort of change the tide here we have seen for the past couple of years president slaps sanctions on top of sanctions. On Russia and still nothing has changed to the president trying to pretty clear of mine in the sea and there isn't going to be very frank and once needing you heard the president even laughing there. I responding to Putin's. Comments when he was laughing at Biden's suggestion. Calling him a killer I he has said that he has no soul they have the two have made and that and it became basic face before. So it's pretty clear here that president Biden going incidents once a deliberate very stern message but it's very unclear what the outcome will be the president just continues to drive home the point that he wants the city as stable and predictable relationship. And and Rick he'll we heard a little bit from president Biden about his analysis of the current. Political stayed in the United States because he was asked directly about the January 6 assault on the capital aimed. At stopping his election and he went through his analysis of how that impacted his relationship with world leaders. And and I found that I've I've found his attitude is to have before on these issues he picked a brick home. As opposed panicked attitude about January 6 and what it says about America do think that works with the world leaders. It's a fascinating take and I wonder how much detail he gets into with with other world leaders because you're right that was a bad moment for American democracy. And this though though the sources behind it. The even heard president Biden give reference to that that trump is them. The popularity dot Donald Trump is the dominant strain still in the Republican Party that isn't to say they'll support of the insurrection far from it. But the seem kinda forces that that just came close of undermining democracy are still out there. And I think from Biden's perspective now maybe he has no choice but that compartmentalize that and and sent it to the side. But as he said the proof is going to be in what happens over these next couple of months various parts of his agenda are right now in the balance. And he's trying to link the success of that agenda to the success of American democracy. Which is pretty heavy and hardy stock soared one lovely right Terry he's calm about the broad scope of these things but he is raise the State's. For his own expectations back home what he can get done. And what that means about the example that you're showing the world he needs the American people and American democracy to come through for his agenda in his telling. To be able to push back against the forces the top that it at least attempted to undermine democracy. And in Biden was also asked about the potential of Ukraine joining NATO Ukraine's presidential Lansky tweeted. What appeared to be a confirmation and that it would become a member of the alliance but. Biden sounded like she was hedging on not a bit. Yes I things Lansky certainly gone ahead of himself whether this was just a case of political posturing on all I guess we don't really know he certainly will because of NATO but as it was make slip by. One of the journalists asking the question of the moment it doesn't really meet the test the houses be no NATO announcements and pat I've seen a couple of tweets which aren't. Team who around that traveling with the president seemed to confirm that this was said by I think the president Biden but that certainly by someone senior. In the White House that this is north's actually happened right now and I think we with the president. Say if you Creag walls going to become an ex member of NATO it's something the people responsive he said that there were problems in terms of corruption in the country. The biggest problem buddy and by and the measure is the fact that Russia has annexed Crimea and that it occupies the eastern parts of the country and don't blast. So it may be something visit Lansky walls we know that he wants it may be something good to Biden and other NATO members. Would also lets see happened. But the reality on the ground is I just he would be too provocative we already sold out Russian military build up a few months ago business specifically designed try and send a message. To Ukraine and to the west due north into fit too much this is Putin's sphere of influence the go to imagine is can be one of the many topics that have to be discussed. When the two leaders meet but yet the bumping set super low. Fool that meeting that which is always useful cut a political maneuvering. As a Broderick on that because Rick and this news just came out and even if Biden is hedging about this clearly. It's very high on the radar that Ukraine could become a member of NATO how do you think that impacts Biden's summit with food and that's coming up just on Wednesday. I does very telling that heat pump the brakes on the idea and said you know maybe this is something that can happen but they don't even qualify for it right now. Mentioning corruption specifically as you noted and saying that ultimately it comes down so to a vote of the full membership so. I'll there's been some confusion in the communications. Directly between Biden insulin is the in the past that ukrainians it's a suggested that Biden is more in favor the White House has wanted to say. I thought was also telling though that he said that dubbed the president president Biden said that's that the needle continue to make sure that. Ukraine has the capacity defend itself and and remain a sovereign nation. I guess any Russian aggression but. I think this is up this is a bit of about half a step back it would have been a major major statement to I admit Ukraine to NATO or an ounce American support for that on the eve of this summit that isn't where president Biden wants to go at least not today. Correspondent Rachel Scott. And our political director Rick Klein thank you all appreciate it. Thanks and you can watch her full coverage of the Biden Putin summit on Wednesday right here on ABC news lives.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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