Congressman: NATO’s commitment to shared democratic values needed now more than ever

Rep. Gerry Connelly says the shared commitment is NATO’s biggest asset when it comes to taking on China and Russia.
9:42 | 06/14/21

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Transcript for Congressman: NATO’s commitment to shared democratic values needed now more than ever
And when president Biden sits down with President Clinton he is expected to address critical issues including cyber security human rights violations arms control. So for more on what's at stake for the US here were dreamt I democratic congressman Gerry Connolly chairman of the house foreign affairs committee congressman Connolly. Thank you for being here. My pleasure still want to. Ask you what do you wanna hear from the president today he's coming at any moment to talk about the progress so far at this NATO summit what do you looking for. I want to hear a robust. We commitment rededication. To the fundamental principles of the charter of NATO. Namely. Are committed to share democratic values I think that is the single most important. Commitment that we all make when we join NATO. And I think it's needed now more than ever. I believe that NATO has to. Pre architecture. To promote and advocate for and provide in a little at valuation all. Democratic institutions and democratic societies that's our biggest asset in fighting Vladimir Putin energy shooting. And speaking of Clinton the US has sanctioned and threaten Russia over the years but at seven seemed to have stopped the Kremlin. For meddling in US affairs so how does this summit and this administration. Produce a different outcome. Well. I think. We have a long way to go out terrorism marshaling the resources. Western liberal democracies. To counter the malign influences. Russia. But I wouldn't say that it didn't whip out the fact is no question that. How Putin is willing to test the boundaries. But he's very careful about crossing them for example we recently saw a military build up. On the border with Ukraine. But ultimately he stood them. After the west let it be down there we would resist that we were not going to. And that kind of military. Yeah not only buildup but threat. Own I'm. European so also. I. They don't the more we can speak with one voice and not. Organized Marshall and leave that boys. I think we have a real opportunity. To begin to counter the various flying activities. Vladimir Putin. So if after this meeting cyber attacks from Russians on the US continue to happen. Does that mean this summit was a failure how do you measure success here. Well. I don't know that. Rogue elements with the sanction of the Russian government or the Russian government itself. Aren't necessarily gonna desist. Because of a particular summit in Brussels. The hardware is in organizing and marshaling resources. To counter cyber activities. To do. Who. And end in it necessary to go on the offense. Against the now it was interesting to me a mean Russia signed an agreement. And I hope. Vladimir Putin understands that NATO is kind of escalating the gravity. Are these cyber attacks and ranch where attacks. Basically saying aids cyber attacking a sovereign state. That is a member of NATO is a violation. Could trigger. Our pop. And which in which we respond as if it were an attack on all of us. Really. I think shifts to ground for Vladimir Putin and raises the stakes. For activity this year war has gone by a candidate. Arm punished. And congressman Connolly is Terry can I follow up on that do you think that that the United States. It doesn't have sufficient capacities in this area. To face scrutiny and Russia. Toe to toe that there that there beyond us and in certainly they're doctor and they do stuff we do what we don't do and may be in their capacities as what your concerns about. US cyber war capacities. Yeah I I've I I've been a champion of you know paying attention to IT modernization in the I don't know how to cross the border. Since I get congress thirteen years ago. And you know. We still. In some federal agencies we use legacy systems that go back to the Lyndon Johnson administration. You know what can go round with a so a lot of them canteen creek didn't. We haven't stay ahead of the science we haven't deployed technology that we already have and we we are not indexing and aren't these develop new or protective. Technologies as we move fort. Oh yeah. Lots of room for improvement there too I believe that the year the west especially United States has the know how the technical know how and the capacity. To develop protective measures and indeed go on the offense yes I did. And congressman I want to go back to Europe comments calling for NATO to redouble its efforts in promoting democracy you said this before. In light of the January 6 insurrection and the autocratic movements that we've seen around the world so. It then more that you think president Biden should be doing on that front that he's not doing already. Well I cohort creating architecture within NATO itself so lower NATO was seventy years 71 years old it has no formal. Architecture to promote. The dog. And serve as a resource on. Democracy and promoting democracy. Within its own membership and with a prospective members and others. I that's amazing. You know acquiescence to of course our democratic shared values. Meanwhile Google would boost experience some backsliding. And we really don't have any architecture any formal operational architecture within NATO suited to promote those schools to make those words. Come to life. And some Republicans are criticizing Biden for being too passive. On the world stage senator Lindsey Graham for example says Biden hasn't done enough to get Europe to push back on Russian cyber terrorism or rein in China and is instead just producing what he calls. Flop than happy talk so what's your response to this idea that Biden's not being assertive enough. I am I I guess I. I would say do you honestly. Lindsey Graham has zero standing to criticize anyone when it comes to relations with Russia. I've this is. Donald Trump's chief enabler. Who had nothing bad to say when doll Tom said that he trusted Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence services. I already took him at his word that he had interfere with the 2016 election. Anyway and you know among the waters by talking about human rights cases. On and off. I think Lindsey Graham has no business criticizing anyone as to their approach. To Russia. I have plot back that Joseph Biden has has returned. A clear American critique. Our blotter who then everything he stands for. And gardening can I ask her about NATO post. Trump presidency. As it did seventy years of president they basically said the same thing about NATO and then good Donald Trump I'm quite openly. Questioned its worst call that obsolete when asked directly about article five and Estonia waffles. Do you think. Did that undermining of what is after all merely an agreement on trust and on confidence in in other countries keeping their word. Do you think that can be undone or can you continue un ring to trump belt when it comes to NATO's. Yeah I think trauma is going to be seen it as an anomaly. He brought may be a shocking. Critique. To the NATO alliance that kind of woke people. The fact that taking out of the status quo granted. It was maybe not a good idea. Keep breast. Allies to video do a better job of burden sharing which by the way we've been arguing pretrial so let us. Not just unique to him but. The fact that they couldn't take American are granted anymore. In some ways maybe. I woke people up to the reality that they needed to tick their responsibilities. In the alliance more seriously. Op I do. NATO in terms recognizing us. With the Russian threat is very real this is not some throwback gist of the Cold War right. He Putin's got troops in Georgia. In Ukraine and Moldova he's threatening other sovereign territory he's illegally occupied annexed Crimean. So we are a real threat. From Russia. On continental Europe and then. I think Biden is absolutely right to warned the alliance that you've got to pay attention that you and I mean China is not even mentioned in the NATO document until about five or six years ago. And you're wanting your reporters so a police describe who China is today. So recognizing that threat I think is really important I think Biden's doing a service of the alliance. In elevating it. Congressman Gerry Connolly we appreciate your time today thank you. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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