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Biden says ‘moral outrage’ behind Putin comment, not U.S. policy change

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© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden announces his budget proposal for fiscal year 2023, as Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young listens in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S President Joe Biden said on Monday his remark in Warsaw that Russian President Vladimir Putin should be removed from power reflected his own moral outrage, not an administration policy shift.

“I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change. I was expressing moral outrage that I felt, and I make no apologies,” he told reporters at the White House, noting that prior to the remark, made in a speech on Saturday, he had visited with families displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At the end of the speech in the Polish capital, Biden added an unscripted line, saying that Putin “cannot remain in power.” Administration officials rushed to clarify afterward that the White House was not advocating for regime change in Russia.

Biden added on Monday that he was “not walking anything back” by clarifying the remark. Asked whether the remark would spur a negative response from Putin, Biden said, “I don’t care what he thinks. … He’s going to do what he’s going to do.”

But Biden once again suggested Putin should not be leading Russia. If Putin “continues on the course that he’s on, he’s going to become a pariah worldwide and who knows what he becomes at home in terms of support,” Biden said.

Biden says ‘moral outrage’ behind Putin comment, not U.S. policy change

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