Former CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman encouraged President Donald Trump to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, to discuss the country’s aggression toward Ukraine.
Russia reportedly opened fire Sunday on a Ukrainian vessel at sea in disputed waters and wound up wounding three sailors. Russia also seized three Ukrainian ships in the area, claiming the boats violated its territory.
“[Trump] knows that the G20 summit is around the corner and he’s kind of looking for a fight, which I think he believes he can win,” Hoffman said. (RELATED: Trump Threatens To Cancel Putin Meeting After Ukraine Incident)
“I would encourage the president to meet with Putin and hold him publicly accountable for Russia’s nefarious — this latest instance of Russia’s nefarious aggression against Ukraine,” he continued.
Hoffman said dealing with Russia without counter measures will only further embolden its aggression and claimed the U.S. must publicly chastise Putin if it wants to send a clear message.
“It starts with that public overt rebuke of Putin. I think the president could deliver that strongly,” he said. “Putin called the collapse of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. Nothing scares him more like a country like Ukraine committed to democracy. That’s an inspiration — a beacon of hope to Putin’s own opponents who don’t enjoy those same civil liberties.”
Hoffman recommended the U.S. join with NATO allies to deploy forces to the Black Sea to show support for Ukraine.
“I think there’s a lot the United States can do. But I think we need to bring along our NATO allies. We could consider a NATO deployment to the Black … seas to support Ukraine,” he said. “We can deliver lethal maritime assistance and other weapons. We could even declare Russian officials persona non grata. But I think the United States needs to take the lead in collaboration with our allies.”
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