On Day 146, Biden was warmly embraced by European Union leaders—who made no secret of preferring him over his predecessor.
“Dear Joe” Meets With EU Leaders.
In Brussels, the U.S. president was met with great warmth and affection by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel, who greeted Biden as “dear Joe,” saying “Well, Mr. President, dear Joe, we are so pleased to welcome you in Brussels. You are back in Brussels, and America is back on the global scene.”
“The last four years have not been easy,” von der Leyen added.
The U.S.-EU summit produced three new initiatives on trade, including a pledge to work toward resolving tensions regarding Trump-era U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, a five-year resolution to the long-standing Boeing-Airbus dispute over government subsidies for aircraft production, and the establishment of an EU-US Trade and Technology Council. The U.S. and EU plane manufacturing industries face a common threat in China’s efforts to obtain foreign aviation technology, creating incentive to reconcile at least temporarily to stop China from driving a wedge between allies.
One day before the president’s highly-anticipated meeting with Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, on-camera fumbles and stumbles lingered. Biden briefly lost his place as he delivered remarks at an extended plenary session of the summit.
"And uh, I've said before and I apologize for the – Oh, I didn't Jake Sullivan from the State Department [inaudible]. I'm leaving out a lot of people here I apologize. I'm going to get in trouble. But, anyway, we'll get back to that. But um we um you know…" – President Biden. pic.twitter.com/7buuCpNzm7
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) June 15, 2021
After that interlude, Biden explained his love for quoting Irish poets, then described “a great shift in technology, a great shift in the development of the world… causing great anxiety in each our countries” and denounced “charlatans, trying to take advantage of those concerns” in the form of “phony populism.”
Biden skipped the closing news conference of his EU summit in Brussels and arrived in Geneva the evening before the summit, while Putin would not arrive until the next morning—just an hour before the meeting was scheduled to kick off.
White House Claims Jan 6 Was Like Oklahoma City Bombing.
Back home, the Biden-Harris White House was busy fighting “the stain on the soul of America:” domestic terrorism.
“We have to take both short-term steps to counter the very real threats of today and longer-term measures to diminish the drivers that will contribute to this ongoing challenge to our democracy . . . We must work to root out the hatreds that can too often drive violence,” a statement on Biden’s new National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism reads.
It will surprise no one to learn that in the second paragraph, the January 6 demonstration at the Capitol was named alongside the Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people, including nineteen children.
Through abstruse wording, the document suggests that white supremacists are the most persistent and lethal domestic terrorism threat:
Across violent ideologies, individuals and small groups—both formal and informal—have been galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States to carry out violent attacks. Among that wide range of animating ideologies, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats.
The strategy also includes “single–issue ideologies related to abortion–, animal rights–, environmental–, or involuntary celibate–violent extremism” as possible drivers of domestic terrorism, and says that the Federal government should “prevent individuals from being drawn into the grip of domestic terrorism in the first instance” by “reducing both supply and demand of recruitment materials by limiting widespread availability online and bolstering resilience to it by those who nonetheless encounter it.” It does not define “recruitment materials.”
At the end, the strategy underscores once again:
Victims of the 1921 Tulsa massacre bore the terrible brutality of domestic terrorists of their era. Victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing suffered the awful inhumanity of domestic terrorists of their time. Victims in Charleston, El Paso, Pittsburgh, Poway, and even the U.S. Capitol now join this tragic history.
The White House also released a fact sheet on its actions to address the “border challenge”—while former president Donald J. Trump announced that he will visit the Texas-Mexico border himself on June 30.