Rep. King: Putin Acting Like a 'Mafia Guy' Over Plane Attack

Sunday, 20 Jul 2014 02:32 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown he is "incapable of functioning in the civilized world" as evidence comes forward that accuses Russia of supplying militants with the weaponry to attack Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, New York Republican Rep. Peter King said Sunday.

"The United States and our western allies have to make clear to Putin that the rules of the game have now changed," King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer. "He has violated civilized norms, and I think we have to engage severe economic sanctions and symbolic ones like canceling the World Cup. Why should countries be going to the World Cup in Moscow?"

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King said that Secretary of State John Kerry, who made the rounds to all of the network talk shows Sunday morning to discuss military investigators' findings on the crash, has "laid out the case against Russia" and there is "no reasonable doubt now that Russia was involved, that Putin was involved" in supplying the weapons to a "group of thugs." Further, he said, Putin has to take responsibility after the attacks happened.

Further, King was furious with the actions that have been going on at the now crash site, which he said is polluting a crime scene.

Officials and monitors said Sunday that armed rebels forced emergency workers to hand over all 196 bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines crash site and then loaded them onto refrigerated trains bound for a rebel-held city.

A separatist leader also said on Sunday the plane's black boxes have been recovered and will be handed over to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

"Some items, presumably the black boxes, were found, and they have been delivered to Donetsk and they are under our control," Aleksander Borodai, prime minister of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic, told a news conference.

Borodai said the bodies recovered from the crash site would remain in refrigerated train cars in the rebel-held town of Torez, nine miles from the crash site, until the arrival of an international aviation delegation.

"As long as the crime scene there is being totally polluted, this man shows he is incapable of functioning in the civilized world," said King, comparing Putin to the days of foreign Soviet leaders like Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev.

Instead of responding to the crisis that "everyone knows" he caused, said King, Putin "goes underground" like a "mafia guy does, what a goon does, not a world leader. Not someone in the civilized world."

King said he has been disappointed that many European nations have not gone along with enforcing sanctions on Russia.

"I have to give [British] Prime Minister David Cameron tremendous credit, said King. "In his statement he put out today he was very critical of the other European countries...who assume this will disappear and go away."

Britain will seek to persuade other European nations at an EU meeting on Tuesday to ratchet up sanctions on Russia over the downing of the Malaysian jet carrying 298 passengers, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday.

"We will . . . seek to get our European partners to agree to go further in terms of sanctions if Russia hasn't radically changed its position by then," Hammond told the BBC.

The problem is, King said, that the United States and its allies "have been playing by the rules with someone who is really the ultimate dirty fighter...he is not part of the civilized [family of] nation[s]."

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