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The risk of Russia's Ukraine invasion: "I just hope this is not the beginning of World War III," says Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Congressman Michael McCaul discusses Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 03:15

Representative Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has been among the few in Washington getting the latest briefings on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. McCaul told "CBS Mornings" that Russia has launched an all-out attack on Ukraine — something that has not been seen in decades.  

"We're seeing an air, land and sea attacks taking place right now with artillery, with planes dropping bombs, missiles, and also from the Black Sea, destroyers shelling the coast," he said. "We haven't seen anything like this since really Hitler invaded Poland in World War II. I just hope this is not the beginning of World War III." 

McCaul said that the time for diplomacy is over and Putin has decided to invade the entire country. 

"There's a lot of speculation he would only go so far. It's pretty clear to me that he wants the entire breadbasket of Russia back. He's always wanted Ukraine, and now he's testing the current president with this full-fledged invasion."

Ukraine is not a member of the NATO, the western military alliance. McCaul said that had Ukraine been a member of NATO when Russia attacked, the situation would be drastically different. 

"If they were, we would have had a full-fledged war with NATO against Russia. We don't have that in this case. However, we have provided, and I signed off on, the military weapons sales to Ukraine: Javelin, ammunition, sniper rifles. This is the beginning of what we are going to see as a resistance that will take place in Ukraine," said McCaul. 

The U.S. has deployed a limited number of troops to NATO countries, but President Biden has made it clear he will not send any troops into Ukraine. But even so, McCaul said Americans need to pay attention to what's happening in Ukraine and how it can affect other situations. 

"This is not just about Ukraine. This is also about President Xi, China and Taiwan. I just came back from Israel — it's about Iran and their nuclear bomb pursuit, it's about Kim Jong-un and his rockets being fired in North Korea. It is all being interconnected," said McCaul. "We have to come together now, Republicans and Democrats on a very strong sanctions package. The like of which we have never seen." 

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