Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Thursday denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin's op-ed piece in The New York Times that criticized U.S. policy in Syria and elsewhere in the Mideast.
“First and foremost, I think we have to understand President Putin should be the last person to lecture the United States about our human values and our human rights and what we stand for,” Panetta said on NBC's "Today" show
“We know what we’re fighting for in the world. And I think his effort to try to do this by a column in The New York Times
is just not going to work. We know who the Russians are.”
In his piece, Putin wrote that "millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan 'you’re either with us or against us.'"
Panetta said the "whole purpose" of Putin's op-ed was "to try to weaken our resolve and to try to make sure that we would not fulfill our pledge.
"He was trying to in his own way weaken the United States in its effort to negotiate these issues," the former Pentagon chief added.
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