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President Biden’s improvised comments on Putin in Warsaw’s speech are approaching the White House

The comments made at the end of the two countries’ visits to Europe aimed at strengthening the alliance were unplanned and surprised the aide watching Biden’s speech on television and at the event venue. And that word wasn’t something. Biden argued that it could be included in the speech-previously, US officials categorically argued that the change of power in Moscow was not one of their goals. I want to escalate the conflict with Russia in the west.

Still, his ad-lib line did more than anything else in the conflict so far to get him to fight Putin directly.

Biden and White House officials are now expected to face questions about comments.

The White House has taken an unusual step to reveal that the president expects to answer questions when speaking about the budget proposal Monday afternoon. And later on Monday, economic authorities will explain to the press in Washington.

“He is a butcher”

People who spoke to Biden before and after the speech explained that he was personally affected after visiting the refugees at the National Stadium in Warsaw. ..

When asked by a reporter traveling with the president what made him think when he saw a refugee and was dealing with Putin every day, Biden replied, “He’s a butcher.”

Shortly before the speech, the president was also briefed by authorities on a series of missile attacks at a fuel depot in Lviv, Ukraine, a city in the west not far from the Polish border.

The rest of Biden’s speech focused on reassuring the United States to come to defense if Putin goes further into Europe, despite the Biden administration’s swift retreat of comments on Putin’s power. I covered the part. Write a speech for a few days, including the time to reach your address.

Biden’s top speech writer, Vinay Lady, and his senior adviser, Mike Donilon, who assists in making the president’s main speech, both traveled to Europe with Biden and were involved in writing the speech. rice field.

The pattern emerges

The White House’s explanation on Saturday was at least the third time Biden felt obliged to wipe out his statements, which was surprising in itself and inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy. ..

When Biden praised the Ukrainian hero, he told the U.S. military that he would “see when you were there,” even though he vowed that the U.S. military would not participate in the conflict directly. rice field. Nothing has changed. “The President has made it clear that we will not send US troops to Ukraine.”

After Biden stated that Russia would respond “in-kind” to Russia’s use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, Sullivan assured reporters that the United States “has no intention of using the period of chemical weapons under any circumstances.”

White House officials said before Biden’s speech that the president was working behind the scenes to strengthen cooperation between counterparts.

“He wants to talk to the next leader, so he sleeps less on this type of trip than on any other trip,” Sullivan said on Friday during a flight to Biden. From Brussels to Jeshuf in southeastern Poland, he met American soldiers.

Europe is still measuring its response to Biden’s remarks

It is not yet clear how this statement will affect the conflict. European diplomats have suggested that Biden’s remarks do not have a broad impact on the Kremlin’s response to the war.

“[Russians]would be worried if we started bringing tanks to Ukraine. They wouldn’t mind this,” the diplomat said.

A diplomat also told CNN that “Biden said what many believe.”

“In the short term, it may be a little uncomfortable, but it may be a little useful for the Russians to know …. After all, Putin can’t maintain power, right? It has been decided. He is breaking all sorts of legal agreements he has signed up for. ”

Defense officials in the Baltic states were pleased to hear Biden’s comments. “Don’t be afraid that the West is ambiguous. It would have expected a change of government to part of Russia.”

“Russia has always been ambiguous, always blurring the line between war and peace. We should exercise it more,” defense officials added.

A European official with Putin recently said he believed Biden’s comments wouldn’t complicate things, but it’s certainly hard to say. “At least (we) are unaware of the difference,” officials said. You have to look, but so far you haven’t noticed anything changed. “

“I don’t use such terms”

Officially, the Kremlin’s reaction came from spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who stated that the fate of the Russian ruler “should not be determined by Mr. Biden.”

“We will continue to closely monitor the statements of the President of the United States. We will continue to pay close attention and continue to monitor,” Peskov said on Monday.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Oksana Marcarova, told NBC News “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “President Biden has heard loudly and clearly. The United States will support Ukraine in this battle and be with it.” Said.

“In Ukraine, it is clear that those who are war criminals, attacking neighboring countries and committing all these atrocities with all the Russians involved, cannot take power in the civilized world. To stop Putin, “she added.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron said last week that France was “strengthening” work to prevent the intensification of the war in Ukraine, but excluded direct participation by French troops, Biden said. He suggested that it did not help with diplomatic efforts.

“I’m still talking to President Putin, so I won’t use that term,” Macron said in an interview with France Channel France 3 on Sunday.

“Our goal is to stop the war that Russia started in Ukraine, while avoiding war and escalation,” added the President of France.

On the domestic side, Democrats have largely repeated the White House’s account, but some Republicans have criticized the president’s comments.

Jim Risch, a top Republican member of the Idaho Senate Foreign Relations Committee who praised Biden’s speech in Poland, told CNN’s State of the Union speech on Sunday: I hope he stays in the script. “

“The administration has done everything it can to stop the escalation,” Rish said, adding that “there is nothing more we can do to escalate than to demand a regime change.”

“State of the Union address,” said Republican leader Michael McCaul of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. , It sends Mr Putin a very provocative message. “

Also, Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio told Meet the Press on Sunday that Byden’s remarks “are in the hands of Russian proponents and in the hands of Vladimir Putin.” And that’s why clarity is very important. “

CNN’s Sarah Diab, Fred Pleitgen, Sarah Fortinsky, and Ali Main contributed to this report.


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