Biden: Not calling for Putin regime change, but expressing 'moral outrage'
"I was expressing the moral outrage that I felt," Biden said. "I'll make no apologies."
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
President Joe Biden on Monday insisted that he is "not walking anything back" after his comment over the weekend that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power."
However, the U.S. president said he was simply expressing outrage about Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine, but he was not calling for a Kremlin regime change.
"I'm not walking anything back. The fact of the matter is I was expressing the moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing and the actions of this man, just brutality. Half the children in Ukraine. I'd just come from being with those families," he said answering questions during an event about the 2023 budget.
"I wasn’t then, nor am I now articulating a policy change," he said, adding again, "I was expressing the moral outrage that I felt. I'll make no apologies."
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken clarified Biden's remarks one day prior by denying that the U.S. wants a regime change in Moscow.
"I think the president, the White House, made the point last night that, quite simply, President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else," he said, the BBC reported.
"As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else, for that matter," Blinken said. "In this case, as in any case, it's up to the people of the country in question, it's up to the Russian people."
Concern exists that adding pressure on Putin, who commands the world's largest nuclear arsenal, would worsen the situation in Ukraine and turn the regional conflict into a global one.
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