The White House was forced to retract or clarify several remarks President Biden made during his European trip. This included clarifying on Saturday that the president wasn’t calling for regime change at Moscow. Biden stated, “For God’s Sake, this man cannot stay in power,” during his speech before the Royal Castle in Warsaw in Poland. This seemed to be a stark contrast from previous statements by the White House which have stressed that regime change in Russia was not the policy of the United States.
“It’s not about regime changes for us. “The Russian people must decide who they want as their leader,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated earlier this month on CBS News. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated earlier this month that the United States is not advocating for the execution of leaders from foreign countries or regime changes. This is not the United States’ policy.
The White House denied that Biden had called for regime change shortly after Biden’s speech.
“The President made it clear that Putin should not be allowed to exert power over his neighbours or the region. A White House official said to Fox News Digital that he was not talking about Putin’s Russian power or regime change shortly after the speech ended.
It was however the most recent clarification in a matter days.
Biden spoke to U.S. troops at Poland on Friday. He said that Ukrainians “have a lot more backbone” and then suggested that troops would soon be in Ukraine — something that U.S. officials repeatedly denied.
He told the 82nd Airborne Division, “And you’re going see when you get there.” Some of you were there. You’re likely to see young women and girls standing up — in front of tanks, just saying “I’m staying.” I’m holding my ground.” They’re incredible. They draw a lot from us.
Later, a spokesperson for the White House clarified this comment: “The President has made it clear that we aren’t sending U.S. forces to Ukraine and that there is no change.”
Biden was asked Thursday if the U.S. would react if Russia used chemical weapons in its invasion of Ukraine. Biden stated that such an action by Russia would “trigger another response in kind.”
Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser, was then asked to clarify the remark. Sullivan was then asked by Biden what “in kind” meant.
Sullivan stated that this meant that “we’ll react accordingly” and that Russia would be paying a “severe penalty.”
Sullivan stated that they would collect information based on Russia’s actions to determine the nature and form of their response. “And we will do it in coordination with our allies.”
Sullivan stated, “And I won’t go beyond that except to say the United States does not intend to use chemical weapons, period under any circumstances.”
Sullivan replied to further questions by saying, “I will only say, with regard to any use weapons of mass destruction — chemical, nuclear, or biological — Russia would have to pay a heavy price.”
Sullivan stated that officials from the Biden administration have discussed the matter with allies, partners, and done contingency planning within themselves.