'This Week' Transcript: Russian President Vladimir Putin

But quite frankly, George, it could be a lot better. And that's one thing I want to press while I'm over here. I know Secretary Hagel has offered military assistance, as well. You mentioned evacuation plans. I'm very concerned that if something does happen, what is the evacuation plan and emergency response plan that would -- would take place?

Again, you're talking about, in this Ansar al-Sunna, the group that these two suicide bombers claimed to be taking credit for, is an al Qaeda faction. And it's happening in the Northern Caucuses in Russia. In fact, outside of there, in Volgograd, which is formerly Stalingrad at a train station, very similar to what we saw in Boston with the backpacks and blowing up things.

And so, all the briefings that I've received, from the intelligence community to the FBI and others, indicate that there are serious concerns and that we need to do a lot to step up security. I do believe Putin is doing a lot of that. These are the largest security operations for any Olympic Games in the history of the Olympics.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If one of your constituents came to you and said, oh, I want to go watch the Olympics in Sochi, would you tell them to go?

MCCAUL: Well, that's a very good question. I -- I -- I have concerns. I know when I get back from this trip, I'll have better opinions on that.

But I would -- I know the State Department has issued a travel warning. That's something to take seriously. I have constituents in my district that are participants in the Olympics.

But I think we have to be optimistic that we can go forward with the Olympics successfully. I would like to wager a bet that the U.S. team is going to get more medals than the Russians, as I sit here in Russia.

But I can tell you that as the Homeland Security chairman and the threats that I see, I am concerned.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You heard President Putin say that Edward Snowden can stay in Russia as long as he wants. I wanted to get you to respond to something from your colleague, Chairman Mike Rogers, of the House Intelligence Committee, said just being released this morning.

He says that there's reason to believe that Snowden had the cooperation of Russian security services. "I believe there's a reason he ended up in the hands and the loving arms of an FSB agent in Moscow." He says, "I don't think that's a coincidence."

Do you agree?

MCCAUL: Hey, listen, I don't think Snowden -- Mr. Snowden woke up one day and had the wherewithal to do this all by himself. I think he was helped by others.


MCCAUL: You know, to say definitively, I can't -- I can't answer that.

But I personally believe that he was cultivated by a foreign power to do what he did. And he -- I would submit, again, that he's not a hero by any stretch. He's a traitor. He -- he lives not very far down the street from where I am right now, enjoying probably less freedoms today here in Russia than he had in the United States of America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's a pretty serious charge, sir.

Which foreign power do you believe cultivated Edward Snowden?

MCCAUL: Again, I can't give a definitive statement on that. I -- but I've been given all the evidence, I know Mike Rogers has access to, you know, that I've seen that I don't think he was acting alone.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...