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POLITICS: PennAve

House intelligence chairman: 'Putin is playing chess and we're playing marbles'

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Politics,White House,Congress,Barack Obama,National Security,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Vladimir Putin,Mike Rogers,Ukraine

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers Sunday said the naivete of President Obama's national security advisers about Russian President Vladimir Putin's motivations is allowing Russia to outmaneuver the U.S. in Ukraine and other hot spots around the globe.

“Putin is playing chess and we're playing marbles,” Rogers, R-Mich., said on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.”

“As you move down the list in Syria and the Ukraine and other areas,” he said, "they've been running circles around us.”

After Russian troops moved into the Crimea region of the Ukraine on Friday, President Obama warned Putin there would be “costs” and the administration said it would suspend participation in the planning sessions for the G-8 Summit of world leaders in June in Sochi, Russia.

On Saturday Obama and Putin spoke by phone for roughly 90 minutes. Putin reportedly said Russia reserves its right to protect its interests in the Crimea region of the Ukraine and the Russian-speaking people who live there.

Obama continued to warn that Russia's continued violation of the Ukraine's sovereignty would hurt its standing in the international community, according to the White House read-out of the call.

Rogers urged the U.S. to be more aggressive in its message to Putin, although he stopped short of advocating for any type of U.S. military action.

Instead of just pulling out of G-8 planning sessions, he said the U.S. should cancel its participation in the summit in Sochi altogether.

He also said the U.S. should take steps to try to kick Russia out of the G-8 group of world leaders and move to impose economic sanctions.

“Russia believes there is nothing going to stop them,” Rogers said. “I would just cancel the G-8 in Sochi – I wouldn't just talk about preparations.”

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Susan Crabtree

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner