Today on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)spoke to Crowley about the downing of MH17 in Ukraine and believes that U.S./Russian relations have reached cold war levels.
Senator Feinstein on Putin: “So, the issue is, where is Putin? And I would say, Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say if this was a mistake, which I hope it was, say it. Even if it was a mistake, it's a horrendous mistake to make. And I think it points out the futility of what's happening in the Ukraine, because there will be repercussions from this. I can't tell you exactly what those will be.”
A full transcript of the interview is available after the jump.
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CROWLEY: Joining me now, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator, thank you for joining us.
FEINSTEIN: You're welcome, Candy.
CROWLEY: It seems pretty clear from the intelligence, from what the secretary of state said earlier that, you know, Russian separatists used Russian equipment that they were trained on by Russians to bring down a commercial jetliner. So are you satisfied at this point with the U.S. response?
FEINSTEIN: Oh, I'm satisfied with everything John Kerry said this morning. I think he outlined the case clearly. I think the intelligence is backing up the fact that this was a missile from an SA11 Buk launcher, that the trajectories and signatures are such that we know it came up and within seconds hit either near or hit the plane.
I think what's unusual about this candidly is the coverage that CNN is giving it. It is bringing it into the home of everyone all over the world, the bodies that lay in the field, the stealing of personal property, stealing parts of the plane. I think this has become a huge human drama. And I think the nexus between Russia and the separatists have been established very clearly.
So, the issue is, where is Putin? And I would say, Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say if this was a mistake, which I hope it was, say it. Even if it was a mistake, it's a horrendous mistake to make. And I think it points out the futility of what's happening in the Ukraine, because there will be repercussions from this. I can't tell you exactly what those will be.
CROWLEY: What are those repercussions? Yes. I ask you this because one of the things that struck me - there's a Pentagon briefing on Friday. We've had sanctions against Russia, meetings with Russia at almost all levels saying, get out of the Ukraine, stop supplying weapons to these separatists.
And I want to play something that the Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John - I'm sorry, the Pentagon Press Secretary said, John Kirby, on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We see no hint that Russian support for the separatists has ceased. In fact, we believe that Russia continues to provide them with heavy weapons and other military equipment, financing as well and they continue to allow these Russian fighters to enter Ukraine freely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So, months of sanctions, months of warnings, get out, get out, get out, and Thursday, more sanctions. What makes anyone believe that Putin will man up?
FEINSTEIN: I think the world has to rise up and say we've had enough of this. I think Europe has to come together. I think Germany in particular has to lead. I think we have to continue with sanctions.
CROWLEY: (INAUDIBLE) sanction (INAUDIBLE) failure?
FEINSTEIN: ...because you need Russia's help in so many things.
FEINSTEIN: The P5+1, Syria, and it goes on and on. And a lot of our energy is tied up in Russia, but you cannot let this kind of thing happen and Russia continues to prepare it for the next strike-down of a civilian plane.
There are a lot of things that one can say as well, planes shouldn't have been over there in the first place, but the fact of the matter is that to use this kind of launching missile that travels at two to three times the speed of sound, that takes just seconds to get there, that's made for an entirely different purpose, to take down. Whether it is transports or helicopters, in this case a very large passenger plane filled with almost 300 people, including 80 children.
CROWLEY: But is there a chance here at this point that Putin's just in too deep? That he - why would he want a full investigation? Why would he come out and say, sorry, this was a mistake. Yes, we did give them - why would he do that?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I think this is where ICAO, where the United Nations has to step in. There have to be some penalties for this kind of a shoot-down, in this day and age, with the amazingly technical piece of equipment, which should only go to people who have some ethical compass/ Now we find out it's being given to separatists who are, in many respects, thugs, and it's being used in a very terrible way. And I think the world just has to rise up and say, enough.
CROWLEY: I want to play you something that John McCain said in terms of this administration as it deals with Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It's just been cowardly. It's a cowardly administration that we've failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Should the U.S. now give Ukraine the lethal weapons it has been asking for?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I don't know with specificity what weapons these are. I think the Ukraine has this ground-to-air missile system, but it's not in the area, and they're not using it. So, here's the thing -
CROWLEY: Right, there's not - I mean the rebels don't have that many planes to shoot down, right?
FEINSTEIN: I don't think you can win this that way.
FEINSTEIN: I think you can only win it diplomatically.
CROWLEY: But if they're being given, if the rebels are being given all the sophisticated equipment from Russia, shouldn't the Ukraine government have what it needs that it feels to help get rid of the rebels?
FEINSTEIN: Well, this is - emotion is at an all-time high. You see trees that are stripped by bullets. I'm opposed to giving this kind of equipment to anybody, to be honest with you, because we have now seen a major misuse. If this is what senator McCain is talking about, I'm not for this kind of thing.
CROWLEY: I've got less than a minute so I just need a yes or a no.
FEINSTEIN: OK, sure.
CROWLEY: Do you believe that the U.S./Russian relations are now at cold war levels?
CROWLEY: Thank you very much.
FEINSTEIN: You're very welcome.
CROWLEY: I appreciate it.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Candy.
CROWLEY: It's always good to see you, Senator.