Senator Coats sits down with FOX28's Tom Powell - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Senator Coats sits down with FOX28's Tom Powell

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Indiana Senator Dan Coats says America needs to send a strong message to Russia's President Valdimir Putin.  Coats says Putin's actions in Ukraine should not be tolerated.

It's just one of the topics we discussed with the senator as he visited the FOX28 Studios Friday.  Coats says Putin's military invasion into Ukraine is unacceptable.

We asked the senator if he believes President Obama is doing enough to handle the situation.  "Not yet," Coats responded.  "This is an opportunity for him to be tough enough.  He needs to be because he's perceived as not interested in foreign policy, and we're perceived as a nation as stepping back and isolating and not engaging."

We asked Coats what he would do if he were the president.  "If I were president, I wouldn't have let it get to this point where I have lost the respect and fear from my adversaries and confidence and trust from our allies," Senator Coats says.  "He's got some rebuilding to do, but again I think this is an opportunity for him to do it if he so wishes to do it."

Coats, a Republican, joined Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois in drafting a resolution "condemning recent Russian military aggression."  He says the United States needs to "build a coalition of the world to send a condemnation to Russia and impact biting sanctions."

At the same time he calls on the President to take a tougher stance against Putin, Coats says America needs to speak with one solid voice.  "This has got to rise above politics," he says. 

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