Biden’s Off-the-Cuff Remarks on Putin Sends Shock Waves

President Joe Biden declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “butcher.” At that moment, Putin’s missiles began to fall on Lviv, Ukraine. 

Experts say that the targeting of Lviv seems hardly coincidental. Biden was only 250 miles away at the moment, visiting Ukrainian refugees who were in Poland’s national stadium. There he met with hundreds of Ukrainians fleeing the war. When Biden returned to his hotel after visiting with the refugees and speaking with them, he was briefed by aides about the airstrikes on Lviv. 

After this is when Biden made a speech propelled by anger and heartache. 

Biden declared that Putin “cannot remain in power.” 

These marked the final words that Biden would say about Russia and the Ukraine invasion on his last-minute trip through Europe. Biden’s remarks ended up being the most reverberating remarks of the entire trip spreading widely even before Biden arrived back in Washington. 

The aides who wrote his speech for hours were surprised that the now-famous line was not in his intended remarks. 

The White House was quick to issue a clarification to say that Biden was not calling for a “regime change.” But the statement came only after Putin and the Kremlin issued their own response, saying that the ruler of Russia is “not to be decided by Mr. Biden.” 

Over the weekend, Biden told reporters that he had not called for a regime change in his remarks. He responded “no” to a question that was shouted to him from a reporter as he was leaving the church in DC. 

The administration has continued to downplay the remarks that were made by Biden. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he believed Biden made the point simply that Putin cannot be empowered to continue to wage war or aggression, against Ukraine or against anyone else. 

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