President Joe Biden appeared to frustrate Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Wednesday after the 80-year-old U.S. president almost knocked over a Brazilian flag while walking on stage, struggled with his translator headset during a speech and left the stage without shaking the Brazilian president’s hand.
As Biden walked on stage to announce a joint partnership with Lula, he appeared to stumble against the Brazilian flag. According to The Daily Mail, after steadying the flag, Biden approached the podium and made a speech about his “economic vision to rebuild our economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down.”
Following Biden’s speech, Lula gave a speech that was translated for Biden with a headset device. According to The New York Post, Biden appeared to struggle with his translation headset throughout the majority of the Brazilian president’s speech.
As Biden struggled with his headset, Lula remarked, “Can you hear me, President Biden? This is a historic moment for Brazil and for the US.” After Biden failed to immediately respond to Lula, the Brazilian president again asked, “President Biden, can you hear me?”
In response to Lula, Biden nodded; however, The New York Post noted that Biden continued to struggle with the headset throughout the rest of Lula’s speech, even dropping the headset at one point and raising his eyebrows in apparent frustration.
At the conclusion of the two speeches, Biden shook International Labor Organization Director-General Gilbert Huongbo’s hand and walked off the stage without shaking Lula’s hand, which the Brazilian president had extended to Biden. Instead of shaking Lula’s hand, Biden waved and saluted to the audience.
The U.S. president’s failure to shake Lula’s hand at Wednesday’s event appeared to irritate the Brazilian president.
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.