“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy,” Bush told reporters at a joint news conference, in what turned out to be an embarrassing misconception. “I was able to get a sense of his soul.”
A decade later, then-Vice President Joe Biden had his own tete-a-tete with Putin, and he offered a starkly different assessment of the Russian strongman. As Putin was showing Biden his Kremlin office, the two men also found themselves eye to eye.
“I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a
soul,” Biden recalled in an interview with Evan Osnos, whose biography of Biden was published in October. “And he looked back at…