US President Joe Biden called Vladimir Putin a "killer" in a pre-taped interview, saying his Russian counterpart will pay a price for interference in US affairs.
Biden's comments aired Wednesday, on the heels of a US intelligence report bolstering longstanding allegations that Putin was behind Moscow's 2020 election interference, an accusation already rejected by Russia.
Asked by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos whether he believes Putin is a "killer," Biden replied: "I do."
"The price he's going to pay, you'll see shortly," he said, referring to the alleged election interference.
Biden also said that when he told Putin he believes the Russian leader has no soul, Putin replied: "We understand each other."
The assessment marks a sharp break in former President Donald Trump’s warm relationship with Putin, as well as the view of the previous Republican president.
After a 2001 summit with Putin, then-President George W. Bush famously said: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straightforward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul."