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Tipsheet

White House Walking Back Biden's Remarks on Removing Putin from Power Doesn't Quiet the Chatter

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

After President Joe Biden during his Saturday speech in Warsaw called for removing Russia's Vladimir Putin from power, the White House has since walked back the president's remarks. "For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power," Biden had said. These remarks came even after the White House, in the form of remarks from both White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had earlier this month that it was not the administration's position to support regime change. 

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Shortly after the speech, Wall Street Journal reporter Tarini Parti tweeted back a response from the White House. The response in part claimed that Biden "was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change," even Biden himself had clearly said "this man cannot remain in power," referring to Putin. 

In case there's any question, Putin heard Biden's calls for regime change, as Marisa Schultz reported for Fox News, citing Rebekah Koffler, a Russian-born former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, who said "Putin heard loud and clear a call for regime change."

Tellingly, this line wasn't even planned, and came as a surprise to more than those just following along on Twitter. Ed Wheelan highlighted as much at length in a Twitter thread, as he too raised concerns about the potential ramifications for Biden's remarks.

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Even David French was freaking out.

Amidst such walk backs, many took to Twitter to express concerns about Biden's remarks, as well as mock those who appeared to favor the president's speech. 

"World War III" and "World War 3" were also both trending on Twitter on Saturday, as well as "25th Amendment", "Inarticulate," and "#DementiaJoe" in reaction to Biden's remarks. People had been tweeting such terms even before Biden's off-the-cuff remarks, but now they truly have something to tweet about. 

Biden had already raised eyebrows and caused confusion during his time in Warsaw. As Katie covered on Friday, he left many wondering if we were sending troops to Ukraine, something he's repeatedly emphasized he will not do. Speaking to the troops, Biden kept saying "you're going to see when you're there" with regards to seeing how everyday Ukrainian people are fighting to protect their homeland.

Not has Biden repeatedly emphasized that there will not be boots on the ground, the American people would not support such a move, considering they don't want a direct war. 

A Quinnipiac poll released on March 16 found that 75 percent of Americans say the "U.S. should do whatever it can to help Ukraine, without risking a direct war between the U.S. and Russia," while 17 percent said the U.S. should help "even if it means risking a direct war between the U.S. and Russia."

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In an analysis of multiple polls, Frank Newport of Gallup wrote on March 18 that "Well less than half of Americans at this point are willing to send troops to help defend Ukraine."

While gaffes may be what we have come to expect from Biden, here, this is World War III and potentially nuclear war we're talking about, something the administration supposedly wants to avoid. 

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