President Joe Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer and will face consequences for directing efforts to swing the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, and that they would come soon.
"He will pay a price," Biden told ABC News in an interview that aired on Wednesday. Asked what the consequences would be, he said, "You'll see shortly."
Putin likely directed efforts to try to swing the 2020 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump, according to an American intelligence report released on Tuesday that sources said would likely trigger U.S. sanctions on Moscow.
The 15-page report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, added heft to longstanding allegations that some of Trump's top lieutenants were playing into Moscow's hands by amplifying claims made against then-candidate Joe Biden by Russian-linked Ukrainian figures in the run-up to the November 3 election. It also added new findings that Putin either oversaw or at least approved of the election meddling to benefit Trump.
Washington is expected to impose sanctions on Moscow as soon as next week because of the allegations, three sources said on condition of anonymity.
The findings about Putin's role are likely to receive particular attention given the report's conclusions that Russia-backed figures such as Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach enlisted unnamed U.S. political figures in their campaign to smear Biden and his son Hunter.
The report named Derkach, who met Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani in 2019, as someone whose movements were tracked, if not directed, by Putin.
"Putin had purview over the activities of Andriy Derkach," the report said. "Other senior officials also participated in Russia's election influence efforts - including senior national security and intelligence officials who we assess would not act without receiving