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Biden insists he was expressing ‘moral outrage’ when he said Putin shouldn’t be in power

‘I’m not walking back’: Biden says he expressed ‘moral outrage’ at Putin when he said he should be removed – but won’t apologize – then insists his three missteps in Europe ‘didn’t happen ‘ in mind-boggling press conference

  • President Joe Biden faced a barrage of questions about Putin on Monday
  • Saturday he said: ‘For God’s sake, this man can’t stay in power’
  • Under pressure he said he was ‘nothing back’
  • And he said he expressed his outrage instead of announcing new policies

President Joe Biden on Monday tried to clarify his remarks about not allowing President Vladimir Putin to remain in power, insisting he expressed outrage at the Russian leader’s brutality in Ukraine rather than a new US policy. to reveal.

The US president alerted allies and partners on Saturday when he said at the end of a speech in Warsaw: “For God’s sake, this man can’t stay in power.”

The White House quickly tried to roll back the comments, saying the president meant Putin could not continue to wield power over neighbors.

And other Western leaders said they feared any hint of regime change would make it harder for Putin to reverse his deadly war in Ukraine.

Biden was asked about the comments after he unveiled his 2023 budget at the White House Monday afternoon.

“Number one, I’m not walking back,” he said.

“The fact is, I expressed my moral outrage at the way Putin is acting…and this man’s actions, which is just brutality.”

President Joe Biden declined to reverse his comments from Saturday about not allowing Russia's President Vladimir Putin to remain in power, but faced a barrage of questions from reporters

President Joe Biden declined to reverse his comments from Saturday about not allowing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to remain in power, but faced a barrage of questions from reporters

Biden's comments were grabbed by the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin's allies.  Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: 'This is a statement that is certainly alarming'

Biden’s comments were grabbed by the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin’s allies. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: ‘This is a statement that is certainly alarming’

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a warehouse hit by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 28, 2022.  More than half of Kharkov's 1.4 million inhabitants have fled the city

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a warehouse hit by Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 28, 2022. More than half of Kharkov’s 1.4 million inhabitants have fled the city

Biden, 79, said he was not concerned his comments would escalate tensions over the war in Ukraine.

“This is just stating a simple fact that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable,” he said.

But he faced a barrage of questions from reporters trying to clarify his stance and whether he had blundered.

He was asked if he had repeatedly made a mistake by sounding at one point as if he were telling US troops that they were about to go to Ukraine, as if he were suggesting that the US would use chemical weapons, and as if he was calling for regime change. .

“None of the three has happened,” he said.

The White House had already tried to clean up. It said the crucial nine words were not part of his scripted speech.

The president’s point was that Putin should not exercise any power over his neighbors or the region. He wasn’t talking about Putin’s power in Russia or about regime change,” a White House official said.

But his comments have provided the Kremlin with ammunition as it continues its war in Ukraine.

Biden made his controversial remarks at the end of his three-day trip to Europe, at the end of a speech in the Polish capital Warsaw

Biden made his controversial remarks at the end of his three-day trip to Europe, at the end of a speech in the Polish capital Warsaw

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “This is a statement that is certainly alarming.”

He added that Russian officials would “continue to follow the statements of the US president in the most attentive way,” Peskov added.

French President Emmanuel Macron said using such incendiary language would not help an already unstable situation.

He said he would not have used Biden’s words and that the focus should be on finding a ceasefire and securing the withdrawal of Russian troops through diplomatic means.

“If we want to do that, we cannot escalate in words or deeds,” he told broadcaster France 3.

And United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggested Biden’s comments were useless.

“I think we need de-escalation: we need military de-escalation and rhetoric de-escalation,” he said when asked about Biden’s comments.

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