Biden misspoke because he is Irish, says former CIA director on CNN
The White House was forced to clarify Biden's comments suggesting that Putin should be removed from power.
A former CIA leader and Secretary of Defence has said that Biden made a verbal gaffe about Putin's regime because he is Irish.
Leon Panetta, who worked under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, made the comments on CNN's Newsroom on Monday (28 March).
Biden ended a speech in Warsaw recently denouncing Putin, saying "this man cannot remain in power."
White House officials were made to clarify Biden's comments, stating that Biden was not calling for a toppling of Russia's government.
Panetta was asked as to why Biden would have made such a mistake during a speech.
"I happen to think, that Joe Biden is Irish, and has a great deal of compassion when he sees people are suffering," Panetta said.
"I think it overwhelmed him in the sense of seeing all the horrors resulting from this war, so from a personal point of view, I understood what he said.
"But at the same time, when you're President of the United States, you just have to be disciplined so you don't make comments that have to be clarified by the White House," he added.
Biden said that he wouldn't be walking back any of the comments he made surrounding Putin, but that there hasn't been a policy change in how the US deals with Russia.
Biden also described concerns of a US-led toppling of Russia's government as ridiculous.
"Nobody believed I was talking about taking down Putin," Biden said.
"The last thing I want to do is engage with a land war or a nuclear war with Russia.
"I was expressing my outrage at the behaviour of this man. It's outrageous.
"It's more an aspiration that he shouldn't be in power. People like this shouldn't be ruling countries, but they do.
"That doesn't mean I can't express my outrage about it."
Biden said he "doesn't care" about what Putin thinks about his comments.