Meet the Press   |  March 23, 2014

Intel Panel Chairman on the Latest from Ukraine

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers talks with David Gregory about the possibilities that lie ahead in the crisis in Ukraine.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> turn to the crisis in ukraine . russia is in control of crimea. tonight president obama will try to solidify support against vladimir putin . i spoke earlier to mike rogers , republican chairman of the house intelligence committee .

>> chairman rogers, welcome back to the program. i want to get to the crisis in ukraine . you've been there. let me start with the flight 370. you said last week based on the people you're talking to in our intelligence community , you think this plane is at the bottom of the ocean. is that your view this morning?

>> i think that's the highest probability, david. you can't take anything quite off list yet. but when you look at what is probable and what is plausible, it certainly rates as the probable. they'll continue to try to identify every background on every passenger to make sure they're not missing it something and then they won't be able to put this case together until they find the aircraft. i do believe based on everything that i've seen so far, it is likely and probable that it crashed into the indian ocean .

>> as you have been in ukraine and are thinking about vladimir putin and russia , the mission of u.s. interrogation is to think about what happens next. so what is president putin going to do next?

>> that's the big mystery. the ukrainians passionately believe that he will be on the move again in ukraine , especially in the east. and we have to think -- i think we're a bit removed from this, david. i talked to an individual kidnapped by the russians he believes. his ear was cut off. he had nails put in his hand and a crucifix type of position in order to get a confession from him that the americans were behind the upheaval in ukraine . and this is who we're dealing with. so they took over crimea. you see they've taken over another base yet today. it certainly appears by everything that ukrainian interrogation officials believe, certainly u.s. officials believe that putin is not done in ukraine . so it is very troubling. he's put all military units he would need to move into ukraine on the eastern border. and is doing exercises. we see him moving forces in the south in a position where they could take the southern region over to moldova in the ukraine . and we see that he's actually working what they call soft power . he's got intelligence officials spread out all over the country causing problems in ukraine .

>> do you think president obama has done enough to stop him?

>> listen, i think americans are so far removed from this. we need to reengage in what is actually happening. you have individuals for independence in their own personal liberty fighting against a country that wants to take them over and one of the reasons they took to the streets in the beginning was corruption, oppressive corruption. we have to as americans take a tough stand with our european partners. there are things we can do that i think we're not doing. i don't think the rhetoric matches the reality on the ground. you can do noncombatant the military aid in a way that allows them to defend themselves. that's all they want. no direct military action . they don't want u.s. boots on the ground . neither do i. i don't think you do either nor does any other american. we can offer them things that they can use to really protect and defend themselves. i think that send a clear message. we're not talking about even complicated weapons systems . we're talking about small arms so they can protect themselves is, maybe medical supplies, raid oy equipment that they can use to protect themselves. defensive posture weapons systems and you do that in conjunction with sanctions. now you've got something that says, mr. putin , we're done with you expanding into other countries. he goes to bed at night thinking of peter the great and he wakes up thinking of stalin. we need to understand who he is and what he wants. it may not fit with what we believe of the 21st century , but that's not who he is and wa he's trying to accomplish. we need to be a little bit tougher with putin or he is going to continue to take territory to fulfill what he believes is rightfully russia . he gave a very inflamtory speech last tuesday that concerned certainly the people of the ukraine , all across, you know, this is region of the world, the european union andton should concern the united states , as well.

>> is a red line for the united states in your judgment our nato allies particularly the baltics if russia should cross that line?

>> i think we need to act before that. it's, too. late. if he crosses into the baltics with military units , that is more than troubling. that means the country of georgia is likely more further invaded than it already is. it means he's taken land in the ukraine , the southern and eastern portions of ukraine before i think he would do the baltics . if it gets to the baltics , we have allowed people who want to be free and independent who want to have self-determination and we've turned our back and walked away from them. you know, the world did that once. it was a major catastrophic.