Late-night comedians made light of Donald Trump meeting with Vladimir Putin at Nato headquarters in Brussels earlier this week.
But John Barrasso, the Republican senator from Wyoming, took it a step further when he welcomed the president’s Russian counterpart by saying, “We wish you good fortune.”
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With a chuckle, the US vice-president Joe Biden joked that “I wish he was talking about victory in the war on cancer”.
Reid Scott, a Kentucky Democrat, poked fun at the vice-president, saying “Biden has made good his agreement to see Putin. But does he plan to bring a bon bon?”
Biden, who once made light of Trump’s volatile nature, accepted that Trump’s behaviour qualified as “rude”. He said: “I don’t give the president credit for rudeness; it’s just more rudeness … I mean, for his big Christmas toy.”
Trump and Putin held face-to-face talks at a Nato summit at which the White House said they agreed on the need to move forward from the crisis in Syria. It is unclear whether the two leaders made progress on the issue.