Rogers: Russian troops not on 'sightseeing tour'

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersSenate panel breaks with House, says Russia sought to help Trump win in 2016 Hillicon Valley: Trump stuns lawmakers with push to help Chinese company | Facebook suspends 200 apps over data practices | Dems want answers on Cohen payments | Senate net neutrality vote coming Wednesday Senate panel invites Comey, former officials to briefing in Russia probe MORE (R-Mich.) on Sunday disagreed with the Obama administration’s refusal to call Russia’s military action in Ukraine an invasion.

“I don’t think they’re there on a sightseeing tour,” Rogers, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," said of Russia’s incursions into Ukraine.

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“It’s hard to argue that Russian troops with Russian armor crossing the border into Ukraine doesn’t fit the definition of an invasion,” he said.

Rogers’s comments match those of Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that Russia is clearly carrying out an invasion.

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin has stepped up his game militarily in Ukraine to assist Russia-backed rebels in the country, who Rogers believes needed help to hold ground.

The Michigan Republican also criticized the Obama administration for not flatly calling Russia’s actions an invasion.

“If the world perceives that the United States does not have a consistent foreign policy of saying what it means and meaning what it says, you’re going to see more of this pressure,” he said.

“That’s why the Chinese are engaging our pilots in a very dangerous way in international waters, that’s why Russians are upping their game, that’s why [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] is conducting the business that it is.”

Rogers told host Chris Wallace that the fighting in Ukraine shows that the administration’s unwritten “don’t do stupid stuff” foreign policy mantra isn’t working.