(National Journal) -- Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein thoroughly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for his role in empowering Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists during an interview with CNN on Sunday, largely laying the blame at his feet for the downing last week of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.
Regardless of Putin's level of involvement in the plane crash, Feinstein said U.S. relations with Russia had dipped to a new low.
When asked by CNN's Candy Crowley for if U.S.-Russia relations were now "at Cold War levels," Feinstein did not hesitate. "Yes," the California Democrat replied.
"The issue is, where is Putin? I would say, Putin, you have to man up," Feinstein said. "You should say if this was a mistake, which I hope it was, own up. even if it was, it was a horrendous mistake. … and it points out the futility of what is going on in Ukraine."
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, also appearing on CNN, agreed with Feinstein. "I believe, as you asked Senator Feinstein that Mr. Putin is returning to a cold war mentality," he said. "When I was over there, you could see this nationalistic pride, a sort of resurgence to regain the glory of the old days of the Soviet Empire and so we're seeing that happen with Crimea being annexed."