The White House is rushing to walk back President Joe Biden's recent remarks declaring that Russian President Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power."
"A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire, will never erase the people’s love for liberty," Biden told an audience of Ukrainian refugees in Poland. "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power."
The president's statements came at the conclusion of his recent trip to Europe, meant to promote solidarity among Western countries in support of Ukraine. Right after Biden's address Saturday in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the White House clarified that Biden wasn't calling for regime change in Russia.
"The President's point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region. He was not discussing Putin's power in Russia, or regime change," a White House official told Fox News Digital after Biden's speech.
That wasn't the only statement of Biden's the House House had to walk back.
Earlier in that same tour, Biden had made eyebrow-raising statements in an apparent gaffe that led some listeners to believe he would soon deploy American armed forces to Ukraine. Addressing US troops, he told them they would see Ukrainians holding their ground "when you're there," prompting many to question whether American troops would be sent into the conflict zone.
"You're going to see women, young people, standing in front of a damned tank, saying I'm not leaving. I'm holding my ground," Biden said Friday.
Biden's administration quickly reiterated that the US would not be sending American armed forces into Ukraine, cleaning up the president's language by issuing a statement claiming the US position on deployment had not changed.
"The president has been clear we are not sending US troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position," a Biden spokesperson told the New York Post.
In response to Biden's statement alluding to a change of leadership of Russia, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reaffirmed the sovereignty of the Russian people. "This is not to be decided by Mr. Biden. It should only be a choice of the people of the Russian Federation," Peskov said, according to CNN.
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