Meet the Press | March 02, 2014
>> do you agree with om so of your colleagues who say it's the weakness of president obama and the united states right now that emboldened president putin of russia ?
>> i think our policy towards russia under this administration deserves heavy criticism. i usually shy away from that when it's important for the nation to speak with one voice. i'm enkirnlged which what i heard secretary kerry say a moment ago. there already things i would like to see us do in addition to the steps he outlined. as we look forward to our future relationship with russia , it's important to learn from the errors of the last few years. i think we have not accurate lit assessed clearly what it is russia 's goals are under vladimir putin . they're not interested in building an international norm that nations conduct themselves under like what secretary kerry was describing a moment ago. they're interesting in reconstituting russian power and russian prestige. often at the expense of u.s. national interests .
>> what do you do about that? because that was true under president bush , as well. who famously said that he thought he could the trust vladimir putin only to find out what he couldn't and then putin invaded separatist region of georgia and the u.s. didn't do much about it. isn't the same predicament here? you may know what putin wants to do, but what are you prepared to do in terms of the use of american power to stop it.
>> first of all, i think previous administrations deserve criticism, as well with regards to clearly viewing what vladimir putin 's goals are here. moving forward, if you look at secretary kerry a moment ago mentioned success with the start treaty . we know the russians have basically violated every major treaty they've entered into. we've seen how they've basically lied. they are lying and this government is a government of liars, the russian government . you see what's happening in crimea. you've got individuals showing up in unmarked uniforms wearing masks. clearly they're russian troops even though they refuse to acknowledge it. you're dealing with a government that lies as a matter, of course, and it's very difficult to enter an understanding with them on anything when they are willing to lie and cover things up in this way.
>> you're saying as you did in a piece you wrote for politico that we've got to the use blunt talk. i ask you for blunt talk. is russia an enemy of the united states now?
>> i think they're increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and norms. after the end of world war ii and through the cold war era , the spread of democracy and freedom and established norms for nations to interact with one another so we would never have another world war . under this president putin , russia does not seem interested in any of that. they are an enemy of that and an enemy of the united states with regard to those things i've outlined. if you look at the issues they've taken on issue of an issue, they've been an obstacle to u.s. national interest .
>> the president said the we're watching and we want to make sure that will nobody crosses the line or there will be consequences. last sunday at this table, susan rice , national security advisor , said it would be a grave mistake for russia to invade the crimea. on friday the president says there will be a cost to intervention. what does it say to you that vladimir putin has ignored the united states for ten days?
>> well, part of it is he's made a cost benefit analysis . he has weighed the costs of doing what he's done and the benefits. clearly he concluded the benefits far outweigh the costs. we need to change that calculus. i think secretary kerry outlined accurately enough one of our goals here needs to be to isolate russia , exact an extraordinary price to payen ot international front for them, for their ambitions, ultimately for individuals in that government and for their economy. the other part of this that's not receiving enough attention is the u.s. must convene our allies both in europe and through nato to strengthen the interim government in kiev to allow them to transition to a drake government, be able to hold their elections. that's critical, too. i think the next phase in this, perhaps you're seeing the outlines of it already are russians trying to undermine the government if kiev.