Mr Biden on Monday told reporters he stood by his off-the-cuff statement from last week in which he said Mr Putin “cannot remain in power”, adding that he rendered “no apologies” for the remarks, which many interpreted as the US favouring a regime change in Russia.
Reacting to his earlier comments, Mr Biden said: “It’s more an aspiration than anything. He shouldn’t be in power. There’s no — I mean, people like this shouldn’t be ruling countries, but they do. The fact is they do, but it doesn’t mean I can’t express my outrage about it.”
“I was talking to the Russian people. The last part of the speech was talking to the Russian people, telling them what we thought,” Mr Biden told reporters.
The answer was in line with the cheat sheet held by Mr Biden, which contained notes printed on a small piece of paper, titled “Tough Putin Q&A talking points”.
The cheat sheet had prospective questions printed in bold about his remarks and about Nato, along with pointers for the 79-year-old to answer them.
“If you weren’t advocating for regime change, what did you mean? Can you clarify?” stated one of the questions.
“I was expressing the moral outrage I felt towards the actions of this man,” the talking point below the question read. “I was not articulating a change in policy.”
On a question about Nato’s unity, Mr Biden’s talking point stated: “No, Nato has never been more united.”
Mr Biden was earlier spotted holding a cheat sheet during his first press conference as president last year that included the headshots of journalists present there who he planned to call on and that also included stats about the infrastructure bill.
He was, however, criticised for still getting some of the facts wrong.
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