Condoleezza Rice: Vladimir Putin trying to re-establish "Russian greatness"

Rice: Russia, North Korea
Rice: Russia, North Korea 03:43

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to re-establish "Russian greatness" with his assertiveness and aggressiveness abroad.

Rice, author of a new book "Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom," says that while there are many things the U.S. needs to cooperate with the Russians on, including the ongoing crisis in North Korea, Putin has not respected certain lines.

Full interview: Rice 08:19

"The most important thing is to re-establish that the United States is going to defend its allies in NATO under Article 5: 'An attack upon one is an attack upon all', that the United States will not countenance the Russian military threatening our forces by flying very close to our ships or to our planes. I think rebuilding the Defense budget has helped to send that signal," said Rice.

Rice added that it's currently a "dangerous time with the Russians," saying that the U.S. needs to continue to send messages that the U.S. "will countenance a Russia that's aggressive against allies and states that shouldn't be threatened by their neighbors."

"We've always hoped that the Russians would see their role in the world as one built on the respect that comes from economic power, from soft power. But unfortunately, it's turned to military power again to establish itself. And I do think that we've begun to say to the Russians, for instance, what President Obama did to put rotating forces in the Baltic States and in Poland. That was a good message to the Russians that certain things are not acceptable. The strike in Syria was a good message," said Rice.

Rice added that "Democracy takes time and we have to be a little bit more patient, and a little bit more helpful in speaking out for those who are still trying to get there."

Rice: promoting democracy 04:39

"Most of democracy promotion is really about supporting those within their countries that want to have the simple freedoms that we have: the right to say what you think, to worship as you please, to be free from the knock of the Secret Police at night; places like Liberia, and Ukraine, and other places that are trying to get there. Now, Americans should recognize that of course we're going to defend our interests," added Rice.

Rice's comments came as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said on "Face the Nation" that the Senate Intelligence Committee is determined to find out more about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"People that might have said they were involved, to what extent they were involved, to what extent the president might have known about these people, whatever, there is nothing there from that standpoint that we have seen directly linking our president to any of that. But with the other thing being said, there is an awful lot of people surrounding that, whether it be Mike Flynn, Carter Page, Manafort, all these people of high interest. We're going to find out. This is going to be done," said Manchin.

Former acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, is also set to provide testimony to lawmakers on just what White House officials knew of the Russian interference in the hopes of shining a light on the Russia probes.

Echoing Rice's statements on Democracy, Manchin said that the Russians will "do anything they can to disrupt any time of a freedom or a democracy" and that the U.S. has to make sure it's stopped.

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    Emily Tillett is the digital producer at "Face the Nation"