Sen. John McCain blasted the "timidity" of the Obama administration’s sanctions on Russian officials Monday, saying that the White House needs a "fundamental reassessment" of the relationship between the United States and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"This president’s response – I don’t know how it could have been weaker, besides doing nothing," McCain said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.
The Arizona Republican said that Putin is likely "encouraged by the absolute timidity" of the U.S. reaction to Russia's incursion into Crimea.
"I don’t know when the president and his advisers are going to wake up to what Putin is really all about," he added. "We've got to start with a fundamental reassessment of our relationship with him."
McCain, who just returned from a trip to Ukraine with seven other lawmakers, recommended that the United States instead provide Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons and training.
"One of the things that I would do is send some of our military to Kiev and find out how we can best assist them," he said.
First published March 17 2014, 10:07 AM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.