Biden says Putin is a ‘murderous dictator’
President Biden on Thursday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “murderous dictator” and a “pure thug.”
Biden’s remarks were made at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon, where each year lawmakers celebrate Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day at the Capitol.
During the event, Biden condemned Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying, “My generic point is that, you know, now you have Ireland and Great Britain … standing together against a murderous dictator, a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine.”
Biden also criticized Putin earlier Thursday during a virtual bilateral meeting with Micheál Martin, Ireland’s prime minister.
“Putin’s brutality and what he’s doing and his troops are doing in Ukraine is just inhumane,” Biden said.
Biden on Wednesday called Putin a “war criminal” following weeks in which the White House has avoided calling Putin’s actions targeting civilians in Ukraine a war crime.
“The president’s remarks speak for themselves. He was speaking from his heart and speaking from what he’s seen on television, which is barbaric actions by a brutal dictator through an invasion of a foreign country,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The Kremlin responded to Biden calling Putin a war criminal, saying that the accusations were “unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”
Biden during the luncheon at the Capitol said he believes that the world is at an “inflection point in history,”
“I think we’re in a genuine struggle between autocracies and democracies and whether or not democracies can be sustained,” Biden said.
Updated 5:20 p.m.