President Joe Biden on Monday defended his recent remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin, as reporters pressed him on the topic.
“I was expressing the moral outrage I felt towards this man. I wasn’t articulating a policy change,” Biden said during a press conference on Monday.
Capping a four-day trip to Europe on Saturday, Biden said of Putin near the tail end of a speech in Warsaw: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
The Biden administration has since aimed to play down and clarify that off-the-cuff remark, and the president continued that effort on Monday.
“Nobody believes I was talking about taking down Putin. Nobody believes that,” Biden told reporters.
“I was expressing my outrage at the behavior of this man. It’s outrageous,” he added. “And it’s more an aspiration — that he shouldn’t be in power. People like this shouldn’t be ruling countries, but they do.”
Opinion: We must ask ourselves now: What happens to Russia, and to the U.S., if Putin falls?
Also read: Biden’s off-script comment about Putin threatens to muddle U.S. message on Russia’s month-old invasion of Ukraine