On Monday, former Obama administration Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reacted to President Joe Biden calling for a regime change in Russia during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden stated in a recent speech in Warsaw, Poland.


The White House quickly clarified the president’s comments about removing Russian President Vladimir Putin from power, saying, “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.”

While on “CNN Newsroom,” Panetta acknowledged that Biden’s administration “pretty much cleared up” what the president said, but he argued the remark “wasn’t helpful.”

“Well, I think the administration has pretty much cleared up what he said, “Panetta outlined. “Look, it is understandable. The president was there for three days looking at the horrors that have been unleashed on Ukrainian people as a result of Putin.”

“So, I can understand his emotional feel about Putin not staying in office. I think a lot of people would probably agree with that,” he continued. “But at this point in the game, you have really got to keep your messages very simple and very direct, and I think this created some confusion that wasn’t helpful.”

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