It was during discussions about the ABM Treaty in June 2001 that Presidents Bush and Putin met for the first time. After this meeting President Bush praised Putin and talked about looking into his eyes and getting a ‘sense of his soul.’ The president was criticized for the remark, but I think it reflected the hopes of the time that Putin would be a different kind of Russian leader, one who would put his nation on a path to greater freedom. I must say I was never too optimistic about Putin. When I looked into his eyse, I saw an old KGB hand. I didn’t trust him and still don’t, but then I’m not much given to trusting Russian or Soviet leaders.
(From In My Time, p. 326.)