President Biden Monday stuck to his guns Monday when it comes to Vladimir Putin.
Refusing to apologize for his comment that the Russian strongman “cannot remain in power,” Biden insisted that he was only speaking from the heart about Putin’s devastation of Ukraine.
“I’m not walking anything back,” Biden said. “I was expressing the moral outrage at the actions of this man, the brutality.”
“It’s outrageous. He shouldn’t be in power. People like this should not be ruling countries. But they do,” he said.
Biden repeatedly insisted that his remarks should not be interpreted as a change in U.S. policy or support for regime change in Russia.
“Bad people should not be allowed to do bad things,” Biden said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to take out Putin or anything like that.”
Even as he sought to frame the comment as a moral statement, Biden did hint that he may have been sending a signal to the Russian people to take matters into their own hands.
“If he continues on this course, he becomes a pariah worldwide,” Biden said. “And who knows what he might face at home.”
Losing his temper for a moment, Biden brushed off questions that his remarks might push Putin even further into a corner, and could lead to the conflict escalating.
“I don’t care what he thinks. He is going to do what he’s going to do, period,” Biden said. “The idea that he’s going to do something because I call him (out) for what he is, it’s just not rational.”
Biden said he would not rule out meeting with Putin despite the war of words, especially if it could end the war in Ukraine.
“It depends on what he wants to talk about,” Biden said.