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Napolitano: Obama Didn't Diss Sochi, Putin

Mike McCaul on Sochi threat: 'Something will detonate'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2014 11:13 AM CST
Napolitano: Obama Didn't Diss Sochi, Putin
US Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, at his hotel overlooking Olympic Park, in Sochi, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.   (AP Photo/Nataliya Vasilyeva)

(Newser) – Janet Napolitano is downplaying President Obama's decision to skip the Sochi Olympics and instead have her lead the US delegation, saying that he chose instead to send "leaders from various walks of life" who represent "the broad values of the United States." Asked whether she planned to meet Vladimir Putin, Napolitano said no: "I'm not here as a diplomat," she responded. "No such conversations are planned." Talk of the Sochi Games quickly turned to security on the Sunday talk show circuit. A look around the dial, as per Politico:

  • Napolitano: "Anytime you have a big event, particularly a big sporting event there has to be a lot of security." Further, "Our accommodations are just fine."

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  • House Homeland Security Committee Chair Mike McCaul: "I’ve never seen a greater threat in my lifetime. We’ve already had two suicide bombers go off outside the Olympic Village. What poses the greatest threat, in my opinion, is the proximity and the location of where these Games are being held. I think there’s a high degree of probability that something will detonate, something will go off."
  • House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers: "First of all, the guards, gates, and guns portion of this is unparalleled for an Olympic Games. The Russians have been good about that physical presence.They are aggressively pursuing leads, some include kicking in doors and taking people down."
  • Rep. Pete King: "So far, so good. Still, I believe it's a dangerous situation. The worst thing that we can do in any way is anyone let their guard down." He says the Russians don't cooperate as much as earlier hosts like China, Britain, and Greece. "They have more of a heavy-handed approach."
  • Rep. Adam Schiff: "There certainly are a lot of risks, but I think they’re manageable risks. It wouldn’t be wise to broadcast that you’re from the United States. I think that it's relatively safe to be at the Games. I’d go if I had tickets."
(Read more Janet Napolitano stories.)

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