John Kerry: 'Enormous Array of Facts' Point to Russian Involvement in MH17 Crash

The Secretary of State on “This Week” on Malaysian Air Flight 17 and Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza.
9:53 | 07/20/14

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Transcript for John Kerry: 'Enormous Array of Facts' Point to Russian Involvement in MH17 Crash
We're joined by the secretary of state, John Kerry. Mr. Secretary, thanks for your time this morning. We just heard in Alex Marquardt's piece, the Palestinians are calling this operation in gaza a massacre and a war crime. What is your response? That's rhetoric we have heard many, many times. What they need to do is stop rocketing Israel and accept the cease-fire. It's very, very clear that they have tunnelled under Israel. They have tried to come out of those tunnels with people, with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs, to capture Israeli citizens and hold them for ransom or worse. They've been rocketing Israel with thousands of rockets. They've been offered a cease-fire. They've refused to take it. Even though Egypt and others have called for that cease-fire, they've just stubbornly invited further efforts to try to diffuse the ability to be able to rocket Israel. So, you know, it's ugly. Obviously. War is ugly. And bad things are going to happen. But they need to recognize their own responsibility. We have offered to have a cease-fire and then negotiate the issues. We have obviously shown our bona fide ease in the United States. The president has put his presidency behind the efforts to try to find peace in the region. So they need to join up and be responsible and accept a unilateral -- not a unilateral, a multilateral cease-fire without conditions. And then, we pledge to discuss all the underlying issues, which we have been trying to do for the last year and half. You seem to pin the blame most squarely on hamas. Is there any dealing with them? Or must they be removed from power? That's a -- you know, well, we don't deal with hamas. But there are people in the region who obviously do. Israel has to find a way to communicate through Egypt or others. In order to, you know, get the private back or other kinds of things historically. There are plenty of people talking to hamas in the region. And they're all telling hamas that they need to try to have a cease-fire. What we need to do is get that cease-fire rapidly. I've been in touch with every foreign minister involved in this discussion. I talked yesterday with secretary general ban ki-moon. President Obama talked on Friday evening with prime minister netanyahu. I talked with him yesterday. The president will talk to him again today. We're frying to get a cease-fire in place and then be able to move on and get back to the discussions that really are underlying this conflict. But in the immediacy -- In the meantime -- -- When three young Israeli kids are taken and murdered and hamas applauds it, and celebrates the fact that they were kidnapped and supported the kidnapping, and then starts rocketing Israel when they're looking for the people who did it, you know, that's out of balance by any standard, George. I think it's important for people to remember the facts that led to this. Hamas needs to join up, be part of a solution, not the problem. The U.S. And the united nations secretary general have called on Israel to do more to stop civilian casualties. What would you like to see from prime minister netanyahu? Well, prime minister netanyahu has indicated he's not trying to go in and create, you know, some sort of massive countercivilian retakeover. He's trying to make it clear that he's trying to do what he needs to do to protect the citizens of his country. Just yesterday when I was talking -- the day before yesterday, when I was talking to the prime minister in the middle of our conversation, the air raid sirens go off. The prime minister says I have to interrupt the conversation. We have to go to the shelter. 20 minutes later, we can pick up a conversation. The same thing happened with the president of the United States. This is happening to families all across Israel. Every day. They have to seek shelter. Hamas has to understand. You can't just sit there and claim a moral rectitude or the higher ground while you're busy rocketing people, capturing people, digging tunnels to get to attack them. This has to stop. We have indicated our willingness to be a fair mediator, arbitrator, to come in and be able to negotiate the key issues. But you can't reward this terrorism with a bunch of preconditions up front. There has to be a humanitarian or some kind of cease-fire in order to stop the violence. We all want to see that happen. I want to move on to the situation in Ukraine. Our embassy in kiev has laid out a string of evidence tying the shoot-down to Russia. In your view, is Russia responsible for these deaths? The question of responsibility will be adjudicated in an investigation, provided we can get a full and fair investigation. There are an enormous array of facts that point at Russia's support for and involvement in this effort. Some of the separatist leaders are Russian. Russia has armed the separatists. Russia had supported the separatists. They've trained the separatists. Russia has refused to call for the separatists to engage in behavior that would lend itself to a resolution of the issue. Only a few weeks ago, a convoy of 150 vehicles of artillery, armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, crossed over from Russia into this area. These items were turned over to the separatists. We, ourselves, tracked the imagery of the launch of this surface-to-air missile. Of the disappearance of the aircraft from the radar at the time. We know that this comports with an sa-11 system because it hit an aircraft at the altitude of 33,000 feet. We know, to a fact, that the separatists bragged on the social media immediately afterwards about the shootdown. And later, when one of the leaders of the movement, igor strelkov, the self-proclaimed defense minister of the people's republic of danesk, posted to social media about the takedown of a military transport. When it turned out to be a civilian plane, he removed it. Now drunken separatists are stacking bodies in the back of trucks. Removing materials from the site. On Friday, we had 75 minutes of access to the site. On Saturday, three hours of access. This is an insult to everybody. Given all that -- This is a moment of truth -- it's really a moment of truth for Russia to step up and be part of the solution, not the part of the problem. So what should president Putin do right now? President Putin should publicly call on the separatists. He should engage in a public support for the cease-fire. He should engage with the separatists directly in order release the hostages they have taken. He should encourage them to take part in a political process that can bring peace to the region. He needs to stop arming them. He could help prevent people crossing the border. He could stop the supplies from coming in. He could engage in the kind of constructive that Russia engaged with us in order to remove 100% of the declared chemical weapons from Syria. He could do all those things. All of them. There's no indication he's prepared to do that. If he doesn't, what is going to be the United States response? Do you believe Europe is prepared to go along with greater sanctions? We hope so. We hope this is a wakeup call for Europe. President Obama took the lead and put additional sanctions in place on energy, on arms manufacturing companies, and on banking. Those are the toughest sanctions put in place to date. He did it the day before this incident took place. And he is absolutely prepared to consider further. But we need to consult with our allies in Europe. And equally importantly, we would like to take a stab at seeing if we can find a way for Russia to join in taking actions that actually back up the words that we have been hearing. Finally, Mr. Secretary. You're juggling so many different crises right now. Your friend and former colleague senator John McCain has said that the world is in greater turmoil than at any time in his lifetime. He and other critics say the president bears some responsibility for that. He hasn't been forceful enough. Do you agree with the analysis? And how do you respond to the criticism? I agree with the analysis to the degree that it says that the world is in turmoil. It is. An enormous number of forces have been unleashed. With globalization. With the Arab spring. With the radical religious extremism. None of which are the fault of president Obama. And there's a nice narrative politically if all you want to do is play politics. The fact is the United States of America, George, is more engaged in more places in the world and frankly, I think, to greater effect, than at any time in recent memory. I can't think of a time when the United States has been engaged in more places where people are worried not about our staying but they don't want us to leave. And they recognize that American leadership is critical. Mr. Secretary. Thank you for your time this morning.

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

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