Ex-CIA official: Obama credibility at stake in Ukraine-Russia conflict

Former CIA official Mike Morell on Monday suggested President Obama has a lot to lose with his handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Morell was asked if Obama’s credibility was at stake.

“I think so,” said Morell, who works as a contributor to the network. He resigned from the CIA last June, where he served as deputy director since 2010. 

Morrell said the Obama administration’s moves so far haven’t been strong enough in response to Russian President Vladmir Putin’s decision to invade Crimea last week. 

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“So the things that we’ve done already are pretty weak, and Putin will see them as weak. Military action is not an option, for obvious reasons. The only real option is economic sanctions,” he said.

Putin has a “strong desire to undermine the United States,” said Morell, adding that Putin’s refusal to back down after Obama’s warnings essentially gives the U.S. “a black eye.”

“The only thing that Vladimir Putin understands is tough, and there has to be a tough response for Putin to pay attention."

Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Ukraine for meetings with officials there on Tuesday. On Sunday, the G-7 nation, the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy, condemned Russia’s moves that violate Ukraine’s sovereignty. 

They also announced they have suspended their participation in preparation for the G-8 summit that was scheduled to take place in Sochi, Russia, in June.