Biden says he has expressed “moral outrage” at Putin and has not articulated any policy change


President Biden on Monday attempted to clarify a remark he made to Russian President Vladimir on Saturday in Poland Putin “cannot remain in power.” He said Monday he expressed his moral outrage at “this man’s actions” over his brutal invasion of Ukraine, without expressing a change in US policy.

“Let me be clear: I did not articulate any policy change then or now,” he told reporters at the White House during remarks on his budget unveiling. “I have expressed the moral outrage I feel and I make no apologies for it — my personal feelings.”

The President denied that his initial comment made any diplomatic efforts related to the conflict in Ukraine more difficult. “What complicates the situation at the moment,” he said, “is Putin’s escalating efforts.”

Mr. Biden said he added the line about Putin on Saturday because his words were meant for the Russian people, and he told the rest of the world that “this type of behavior is totally unacceptable.”

President Biden makes remarks on his 2023 budget
US President Joe Biden addresses his fiscal year 2023 budget on Monday, March 28, 2022 in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA.

Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shortly after Mr. Biden made his comments on Saturday, the White House attempted to retract his comment, officially saying it was not talking about regime change.

“The President’s point was that Putin must not be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” a White House official said. “He didn’t talk about Putin’s power in Russia or regime change.”

On Monday, the president said he was “going back nothing” as he said he was expressing “moral outrage” and no change in policy.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “It’s not up to the US President, and not up to Americans, to decide who stays in power in Russia.”

“Only Russians who elect their president can decide that,” Peskov added. “And of course it is indecent for the President of the United States to make such statements.”

On Monday, Mr. Biden said he didn’t care what Putin thought of his comments.

“I don’t care what he thinks,” Mr. Biden said. “Look, here’s the deal – he’ll do what he’ll do.”

Mr. Biden made the remark about the Russian President at the end of his speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. He also condemned Putin’s war in Ukrainewhile sympathizing with the Ukrainian people whose homeland has been devastated by Russian forces, as well as the Russian people who have been “cut off from the rest of the world”.

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