Sanctions are "great" when it comes to punishing Russia for its misbehavior in connection with the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline and other actions, but "it's time to start thinking about hitting back," Rep. Michael McCaul said Sunday.
The Texas Republican also told ABC News' "This Week" that he thinks the price for President Joe Biden to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin was "way too high."
"They need to know that when they do this, there are consequences to their actions and that we're going to hit them back," McCaul said. "Until they do that, they're going to continue with their bad behavior."
McCaul's comments come as Biden plans to meet with Putin this Wednesday at Lake Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss topics including strategic nuclear stability and the worsening relationship between the Kremlin and the West.
McCaul has said that it appears that Biden was rewarding Putin by having the meeting, and on Sunday, he said he thinks the "price for admission, the ticket for this seat was way too high," as it comes after Biden waived sanctions to allow the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia into Germany.
This will make the United States' European partners become dependent on Russian energy, and that will not be "in the United States best interest or in Europe's best interest either," said McCaul.
"This really empowered Putin when it happened, said McCaul. "We're giving him a lot of stuff."
Meanwhile, Biden's first G7 summit as president is being hailed as a success, including with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling talks with Biden a "breath of fresh air," in contrast with summits held with former President Donald Trump, and McCaul agreed that it is important for the United States to work with its NATO allies.
"I think in the past with Trump, the frustration was there was a lot of talk and no action," said McCaul, adding that it is "smart" for Biden to meet with the United States' NATO allies and attend the G-7 summit before meeting with Putin, which will be the most powerful, the most dangerous" meeting for Biden.
Germany, meanwhile, supports the Nord Stream project, but McCaul pointed out that the country's former chancellor "is a lobbyist for the Russian Federation, which calls into question a lot of this."
"I think it's a bad move and I don't think it's in our national interest to do so," said McCaul. "You want to go into these talks and positions in strength and not weakness."
Biden is going into the meeting with "a little bit of weakness" over the concessions he's made, including not enforcing sanctions over the chemical poisoning of Putin opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Putin, he added, had "tacit approval" on the cyberattack of the Colonial Pipeline, but there have been no repercussions.
"The irony is the two pipelines," he said. "We allowed Putin's pipeline, but shutdown Keystone, and then the Russians hacked Colonial. This is something disturbing."
McCaul also discussed the news concerning Trump's Department of Justice seizing data from Apple from journalists and least two dozen congressional Democrats, along with that of their staff and family members.
"I worked for the DOJ for a long time," said McCaul. "I think in the journalists' case, you're looking at First Amendment protections...you better have your facts together before you do something like this. I don't have all the facts here, but what I will tell you is the inspector general, DOJ is now investigating this, and I think that's where it properly belongs. That's where the investigation should take place, and let's see how that investigation turns out."
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