Chaotic scenes between competitive media bodies unfold at the start of the summit

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Photographer blocks television camera during media spray.
Photographer blocks television camera during media spray. Swimming pool
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The much-anticipated summit between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin has now started, but the media spray at the top of the meeting has taken an unusual start amid a chaotic melee of journalists from both countries.

Journalists were seen blocking cameras as other people spoke to each other as the two presidents attempted to deliver their opening remarks. As a result, the situation has become incredibly tense between the two traveling media bodies of the United States and Russia, according to CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

Security personnel push the press out of the room after spraying the media.
Security personnel push the press out of the room after spraying the media. Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

Collins explained that the “pool” is a media practice where a representative for each media outlet is allowed to come into the room for a spray at the top of a meeting. That, she said, is usually a person representing television, a person with a camera, a print journalist, a radio journalist and so on – usually around 15 journalists in addition to the photographers.

Collins reported that she had been made aware of some combative exchanges and that the entire US press had not actually entered the room for this top spray, which would be the only media access from Villa La Grange for the next hours. .

“We were told it started before they even entered the building. There was shouting and shouting outside as all these reporters tried to get in to get in and see these two leaders go out. sit with one another, even if of course not all [the reporters] are sanctioned for being there, ”Collins said.

The White House said the scene inside the room was so chaotic that President Biden’s communication was misunderstood by the press.

When a member of the US press pool asked the president if he trusted Putin, they wrote that Biden “looked me in the eye and nodded in the affirmative.”

But White House communications director Kate Bedingfield rebuffed the claim, saying the president “wasn’t answering any questions very clearly” but simply nodding in greeting the press in general.

Watch Kaitlan Collins react to President Biden and President Putin photo shoot:

Learn more about today’s summit here.

CNN’s Maegan Vasquez and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed reporting for this post.

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