‘All of us share moral outrage about Putin’

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Monday responded to President Biden’s controversial recent comments on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying the unprovoked attack prompted «moral outage» toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

«I think all of us share moral outrage about Putin and the brutality that he shown towards the Ukrainian people. That’s understandable,» Panetta said on «Your World with Neil Cavuto» on Fox News.

«But this is a moment in time when we just have to be unified between the United States and our allies, show strong unity, and not raise anything that might confuse that relationship,» he added.

While visiting Poland on Saturday, Biden raised alarm on both sides of the Atlantic when he said of Putin, «For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.»

Panetta on Monday said that particular phrasing «probably should not have been used.»

«It’s important that the president exercise as much discipline as possible to make sure that whatever he says is in line with the unity that he’s put together between the United States and our allies,» the former CIA director added, noting later in the interview that «no matter how this is negotiated, no matter how it ultimately is resolved, Putin is going to be weakened as a leader.»

«I think the bottom line is that the Russians will determine who their leader is going to be,» he said.

Biden sought to clarify on Monday that he was not «articulating a policy change.»

«I was expressing moral outrage that I feel, and I make no apologies for it,» he said, insisting he was not «walking anything back.»

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