April 23, 2024

Biden Has to Get Tougher on Russian Spies to Free Detained Americans, ‘We Don’t Have That Much Leverage’

On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” former Defense Secretary and former CIA Director Leon Panetta known as for the Biden administration “to get tough” with Russian espionage within the U.S. to assist give the U.S. leverage that it lacks to free Americans detained by Russia and “We’ve got to basically shut him down by playing hardball with Putin with regards to the spies he’s got in this country.”

Panetta stated, “We have got to play a tough game with Putin to make clear that he’s not going to get away with this kind of game.”

He added, “[F]rom my own experience, we were able to capture something like ten Russian spies when I was Director of the CIA, and it wasn’t long before the Russians tried to see if we could work out some exchange, and what we did was we ultimately got some of our own people back because we had ten of their spies. So, in the end, this is going to be about working out an exchange. And that’s why I think it’s really important for the United States to be able to get tough here. If you look at the Russian embassies in this country, there are a lot of spies that are part of those embassies. And I think we’ve to get tough with those that are spying on the United States and make clear that the Russians are not going to be able to do that as long as they’re holding Evan. It’s got to be a tough game. Putin loves this bartering game. He loves the leverage that’s involved here. We’ve got to basically shut him down by playing hardball with Putin with regards to the spies he’s got in this country.”

Panetta additional acknowledged, “Putin is pretty much playing hardball, and we don’t have that much leverage, for whatever reason. We’ve got to develop some leverage here, and frankly, be able to arrest some of his spies, so that he has a reason for coming to the bargaining table.”

Panetta concluded, “I think you’ve got to be able to show Putin that if he does not provide Evan and release Evan, that he’s going to suffer consequences, and that’s the only game he understands, is that if he does not release Evan, he is going to suffer some serious consequences. That’s the only leverage that convinces Putin to do anything, and that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve just — we’ve got to get tough with Putin.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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