The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

117th Congress: Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.)

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) joins Washington Post Live on Tuesday, March 1 (Video: The Washington Post)

Ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) joins Washington Post Live to discuss the latest cybersecurity concerns regarding Russia and looks ahead to the State of the Union address.

Click here for transcript


“No, and in fact, if the United States thought it was a real eventuality, their nuclear forces would’ve been on higher alert than they are right now. And we just have to be careful of what we’re doing. I know there’s some alert and there’s some heightened alert, but I think basically they’re taking a wait and see approach and obviously monitoring the situation very, very closely. When you start talking about nuclear weapons, it’s indicative of the instability, with respect to Putin. To casually throw that out there like he did is really a sign of a world leader who’s not as stable as he should be and that’s a very big concern.”- Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (Video: Washington Post Live)
“It happened under his watch, so he should get credit for it. Whether it was because of his actions or just because of the actions of Russia, it doesn’t really matter, it happened under his watch and so that’s a good thing. If you may or may not know, I’m one of the most bipartisan members of Congress, so I’m not one to call out the other side for the sake of calling them out. And that’s why I say, if it happened on his watch, he should take credit for it. But regardless it’s a good thing that NATO seems to be reconstituting understanding that their core mission is to protect the spread of bad leaders like Putin and this is clearly a sterling example of that.”- Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We’ve had enough of divisiveness on both sides of the fence. He’s been a disappointment in that regard in his first year. So, I would love to hear from him, a lot more of a unifying message and a bipartisan message. We really haven’t seen that and a lot of his legislation has been unilaterally imposed. I would love to see—I don’t care if he’s a Republican or Democrat— if he wants to work in a bipartisan basis, I’m here to work with him and a lot of us are. I sat in the Oval Office with him in February to talk about the infrastructure deal and I ultimately supported it and I caught a lot of heat for it, but it was worth it. And I would love to hear things that are going to unite this country. I think the American people are sick and tired of all the divisiveness. He would show true courage if he could take those steps I laid out for the oil. But also, he would do well to try and unite the country instead of continuing to be divisive.”- Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I think the key term you used is response because we are in response mode. What you have to do is take a step back before the response, when they had an opportunity to influence things in a different way. Like I already said, taking military actions off the table immediately doesn’t help, waiting to the last minute to get lethal aid to the Ukrainian people, was a mistake. Not having the sanctions ready to roll right away was a mistake. Are they doing better with sanctions now? Are they tightening the sanctions with their response? Absolutely. But really, when bad guys sense weakness they will exploit the weakness and that’s what Putin did. He sensed the weakness of this administration and its emblematic of how they handled Afghanistan and other crises…Whatever the shortcomings were with this administration before the invasion, the response I think has been pretty good. And I think that they need to continue to respond in the manner that they’re doing…Now, not only are NATO countries on the same page, you have countries like Finland and Sweden, who are generally very, very against joining NATO, are talking about joining NATO. Ironically, Putin went into this partly to ensure that Ukraine didn’t become part of NATO and now NATO is going to be stronger than ever. “- Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) (Video: Washington Post Live)

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.)