US Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner avoided direct criticism of President Biden’s comment on Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power”, instead turning the focus to Putin, saying: “There is one person who is trying to bring about regime change in Europe, and that is Vladimir Putin trying to change the regime in Ukraine.”
Asked by DailyExpertNews’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” whether he thinks United States policy should be toward regime change, Warner said, “The stated policy is the White House point and that hasn’t changed. It is up to the Russian people to decide who will come to power in the Kremlin.”
Representative Michael McCaul, who heads the Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was more forceful in his interview a short time later during the show, saying, “I know it was baloney, but whatever the president says, it carries a lot of weight. … In this case, it sends a very provocative message to Mr Putin.”
Warner said he was surprised that Russia has not launched “their A-team cyber-attacks against Ukraine,” which Warner called “top class.” Asked why he thinks they haven’t, Warner said: “Honestly we don’t have a good answer yet,” he added: “I don’t think it’s the lack of capacity, but this is a question we constantly ask. set.”
When asked whether cyber-attacks would invoke NATO’s Article 5, Warner said: “Cyber-attacks from Russia and China have been going on daily for years,” but added that if a cyber-attack leads to the loss of life, that would be “unknown territory”.
“In terms of literally causing loss of life, there has always been what we call strategic ambiguity about what is defined as a violation of Article Five. I think it’s still an appropriate gray area at this point.”