Biden declined to elaborate on the consequences Putin would face, saying that youll see shortly. But he maintained the U.S. could walk and chew gum at the same time with regard to its Russia foreign policy.

There are places where its in our mutual interest to work together, Biden said, pointing specifically to the two governments extension of the New START nuclear nonproliferation treaty in January.

That occurred while hes doing this, Biden said of Putins election interference efforts. But thats overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity.

Bidens remarks come after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified assessment Tuesday which found that Putin authorized influence operations aimed at denigrating Bidens candidacy and the Democratic Party while supporting former President Donald Trumps reelection campaign.

The influence operations, conducted by various Russian government organizations, also had as their goal undermining public confidence in the electoral process and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the U.S., according to the ODNI assessment.

Russia previously interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion, former special counsel Robert Mueller wrote in his March 2019 report.

Biden, who dealt with Putin throughout the Obama administration, has on several occasions recounted a 2011 meeting during which the then-vice president reportedly told the Russian leader: I dont think you have a soul.

I did say that to him, yes, Biden told Stephanopoulos in the interview that aired Wednesday. And his response was, We understand one another. I wasnt being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. Thats how it came about.

Look, the most important thing in dealing with foreign leaders, in my experience and Ive dealt with an awful lot of them over my career is just know the other guy, the president added.

Asked by Stephanopoulos whether he thinks Putin is a killer, Biden replied: Mm hmm. I do.