Transcript for Escalating aggression from China is ‘unacceptable’: Turner
- Joining us now to discuss the war in Europe and heightened tensions with China is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Mike Turner. Welcome, Congressman Turner. We appreciate your time. This is truly an important moment in this war, this counteroffensive. President Zelenskyy saying they're ready but acknowledging Russian air superiority and saying a large number of his soldiers will die because of it.
- Right. I had the opportunity a couple months ago to meet with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv and to meet with our troops, who are training and who are assisting and planning. And I'm incredibly optimistic. President Zelenskyy has made a great case that this is the fight to preserve democracy.
And because of that, he has rallied the West and received incredibly technologically advanced weapon systems, including German tanks-- as you were reporting-- UK tanks, UK long-range missiles, and, of course, the Patriots, which are protecting Kyiv. The upcoming offensive they're ready for, they're trained for, they're equipped for, and Russia is not. One thing that is amazing to see is the ingenuity of the Ukrainians.
We've seen recently where using United States Patriot systems, they've taken down the Kinzhal missile, which was at the heart of Putin's boasting of the strength of his military, claiming that the missile was undefeatable. They defeated it. That has a huge impact on the mental thoughts of Putin, as he looks at this coming offensive.
- And something else which will affect him, we have seen several drone attacks inside Russian territory in recent weeks. Who do you think is behind those? And what effect do you think that is having?
- Well, I don't know who's behind them. And of course, there have been disclaimers by the Ukrainian government that they're not coordinating those. But one thing of the effect of this is Putin is having to admit to his public that his air defense systems are inadequate.
But it's been interesting to watch the disingenuousness as he's stepped forward and said, how awful of the Ukrainians to be attacking residential areas. When in fact, that's what he's done this entire war. He has attacked civilians, he's attacked residential areas. The atrocities that Russia has committed in Ukraine are unmatched by anything that we have seen.
- And Congressman, the White House has said it does not support attacks inside Russia. Do you?
- No, I think-- well, certainly we have to understand that Ukraine needs to be able to defend its territory. They need to defend themselves from Russian aggression. The United States does not support-- and our weapons systems should not and are restricted from the fact. President Zelenskyy made a commitment that he would not use US weapons systems in Ukraine, and he's made that commitment directly to me when I saw him last. I believe that he's committed to it. And I think that the offensive that is being planned and prepared is about the Ukrainian territory, with our support.
- And I want to turn to China. The US had a ship transiting the Taiwan Strait this weekend. A Chinese ship came within 150 yards of that. We thank Global News for that video. They were on board a Canadian ship. You heard Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin saying the US won't stand for bullying or coercion. So what should we do?
- Well, what we're seeing is an unbelievable aggression by China. If you look at the balloon that flew over the United States, the Chinese police stations, the aggressiveness against our both planes and ships in international water, it goes right to the heart of what President Xi said when he stood next to Putin in Russia, where he said they're trying to make change that had not happened in 100 years.
Well, that change is the-- 100 years ago, World War I, World War II, that was about democracy versus authoritarianism. They're trying to flex their muscles and advance authoritarianism. We need to stand strong, and certainly this administration needs to stand strong against this type of coercion.
- And what does that really mean? It means just continuing what we're doing, even these dangerous encounters?
- Well, I think it means calling them out. I mean, this is unacceptable. And when you have, for example, a balloon that transits all across the United States, and the administration doesn't respond until the game is over, until it's over at the Atlantic, you start-- and when you have police stations that have been operating within the United States that took forever in order for them to take action, you get this sort of sense of permissiveness that I think the administration needs to step up and make clear that China has identified itself as an adversary, and we're going to treat it as such.
- And we have very little time here, but I want to go to North Korea. It's claiming to have successfully miniaturized nuclear warheads. Does the US believe these claims are true?
- Well, I think this is what we believe. Right now, North Korea has nuclear weapons capability to be able to hit the United States, to be able to hit New York City itself. With respect to North Korea, obviously the concept of deterrence-- we have weapons, they have weapons-- is dead. We need to go to deterrence plus defense. That means an aggressive missile defense system. We have an opportunity at Fort Drum. Elise Stefanik has been active to try to get built out a missile defense system that would help to protect New York City. We need to build out that system, and we need to hold China accountable for North Korea.
- OK, thank you so much for joining us this morning, Congressman.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.