“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden cried out as he finished his speech. “God bless you all and may God defend our freedom.”
It was unclear whether or not Biden’s comment was part of his prepared text.
But the White House soon released a statement to reporters questioning Biden’s apparent call for regime change.
“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” a statement attributed to a senior White House official read. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
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This is the third time the White House has had to clarify Biden’s remarks during his trip to Europe.
On Friday, the White House reassured people that Biden would not send American troops into Ukraine, even after the president spoke with the troops about what they would see when they got to the country.
On Thursday, the White House had to clarify that Biden did not mean the United States would use chemical weapons when he said that if Putin used them the United States and NATO would respond “in kind.”