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US ambassador to NATO cleans up Biden’s remarks, says ‘US does not have a policy of regime change in Russia’ – Fox News

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U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said Sunday that the U.S. “does not have a policy of regime change towards Russia,” and that President Biden was speaking “in the moment” when he appeared to signal otherwise during a speech Saturday in Poland.

The Biden administration has been forced to walk back the president’s comments in Warsaw that seemed to call for regime change in Russia, declaring that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”

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“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden declared.

President Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, March 26, 2022.

President Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Smith said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” that Biden had “a very moving day” after meeting with hundreds of Ukrainian refugees, and that contrary to his remarks, the U.S. is not looking for regime change in Moscow.

“Let me be clear and just state right off the bat that the U.S. does not have a policy of regime change towards Russia,” Smith said. “But I think what we all agree on is that President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war. He has attacked Ukraine in a premeditated, unprovoked conflict, and is pursuing this relentless and brutal war in Ukraine, which we all want to see come to an end.”

US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith (L) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) arrive ahead of an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022. 

US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith (L) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (R) arrive ahead of an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2022.  (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Smith made similar comments during an appearance earlier on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying Biden was speaking “in the moment.”

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“In the moment, I think that was a principled human reaction to the stories that he had heard that day,” she said. “But no, as you’ve heard from Secretary Blinken and others, the U.S. does not have a policy of regime change in Russia. Full stop.”

Blinken clarified Biden’s remarks earlier Sunday, telling reporters that “we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia – or anywhere else, for that matter.”