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CNN "Newsroom" - Transcript: Security at the 2014 Winter Olympics


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REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I have very real concerns. This is a very deadly area. My main reason for concern is that the Russians have not been cooperating as far as sharing intelligence. Going back to previous Olympics, the Greeks did in 2004, the Chinese did in 2008.

COOPER: Are they afraid of revealing methods, sources or losing face?

KING: One is their fear of losing sources and methods. I think our trace intelligence they give us back and find out what their methods, that's number one. Number two, there is that pride that Putin has of not wanting to admit he needs help from the outside.

COOPER: Mike McCall from the Homeland Security Committee, your colleague had said if the threats continued to increase perhaps there should be talks of cancelling the games, do you agree with that?

KING: I don't think we're at that stage yet. I think that we should do the best we can, monitor it very careful, as far as intelligence gathering in advance. There are a lot of people coming there who have been treated badly by the Russians. They're on fertile ground to be used in the attack. You have these very well-organized terrorist groups over there. Despite the 40,000 to 50,000 troops and police that Putin says are going to be there, there's still going to be venues within the Olympic site, which cannot be fully protected. We have to assume that the terrorists know that and they're going to try to take advantage of it. Having said that though, I would not say we should reconsider cancelling the games.

COOPER: If you were a civilian or an athlete, would you go to the games?

KING: If I'm an athlete I would go, I'm almost certain, but as a spectator, no, I would not.

COOPER: And would you recommend that to other spectators?

KING: Let's say tomorrow, if my family and I were given free tickets to go to the Olympics, I would not go.

COOPER: Because you believe the threat is that real?

KING: Yes, too much of a risk. Odds are there will not be an attack, but the odds are higher than they've been for any other Olympics, probably less than 50/50. That's pretty high when you're talking about a terrorist attack.

COOPER: Where is your fear of an attack, inside the Olympic venue or outside?

KING: Locations where there are going to be Olympic events, which I've been told could be vulnerable to terrorist attacks. It's just too difficult to give them the type of protection that Putin is implying in his given.

COOPER: If there was an attacks and Americans were killed or anyone was killed, would you put part of the blame on Russian authorities because they haven't shared intelligence in your opinion?

KING: Right now you would have to. At this stage, considering a fact that from all my understanding from the last several days, we are not getting any intelligence from the Russians, it's not being shared and they are refusing to do it, so yes.

COOPER: Congressman Peter King, thank you. Good to have you on the program.


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