Meet the Press host David Gregory grilled Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken on Sunday morning about why the U.S. lacked the ability to forestall Russia’s aggression, rather than simply react to them.
“Since this started, the president has issued line after line, and Putin has crossed them all,” Gregory said. “Why has this president, and the United States in general have so little influence over him?”
Blinken insisted that President Obama has marshaled an international response to exert economic and diplomatic pressure on Putin, but Gregory wasn’t satisfied. “I just want to challenge you on this point,” he said. “We’ve said, ‘Don’t do this or else,’ and President Putin keeps doing it and more. So why doesn’t the president have a greater ability to influence what Putin does before he does it?”
Blinken emphasized that the goal was to get Putin to pull back peacefully or risk global isolation.
“But he’s not listening!” Gregory countered.
“This is really a choice for the Russians to make,” Blinken said. “They have to decide whether they want to resolve this diplomatically or whether they want to face growing isolation, growing economic costs.”
Watch the clip below, via NBC News:
[Image via screengrab]
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