By Rebecca Shabad - 02/06/14 03:35 PM EST
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said on Thursday he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t get in the way of dissolving threats at the Olympics.
“I just really hope that Putin's ego doesn't get in the way to make sure that we can work together to stop any threat and to get intelligence and — and act on it immediately, to protect first, our priority, America and our allies and anybody involved,” he said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
Blitzer asked the congressman if Russian terrorist groups “who hate Putin, want to embarrass him, humiliate him” are collaborating with al Qaeda elements outside Russia.
The congressman has served 11 years in Congress and is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
On Thursday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said a credible threat exists that terrorists could bring bombs disguised as toothpaste tubes onto flights heading to the Olympics.
Blitzer asked Ruppersberger if he knew where the threat originated.
“No, I mean that's — a lot of it's classified, but it — it's out there. The chatter has been out there. And when we get that information or our allies get it, we pass it through,” he said.
Some lawmakers have recently said they wouldn’t allow their families to attend the Olympics because of threats to Sochi.
“Terrorists win if you don’t [go],” Ruppersberger said.