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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 29th, 2014
05:33 PM ET

Congressman: Traveling to Sochi is a risk, but we have to stand up to terrorists

(CNN) - Russian officials are telling the U.S., and the world, that the Sochi Olympics will be safe, and they are "frantically trying to make sure that is true" according to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, who just returned from a congressional delegation to Russia.

While Rohrabacher disagrees with claims by the chief organizer of the Games that site of the Sochi Olympics is the "most secure venue on the planet," the congressman says the upcoming winter Olympics will be as safe as any other recent Games.

"Terrorists, obviously, set off bombs everywhere in the world. In Spain, you know, they blew up some trains there, just like they blew up trains in Volgograd," said Rohrabacher. "There's some risk, but I would think that we should stand up to terrorists, and tell the world that this is not a time to step back."

The congressman said the U.S needs to support the Russians to ensure the international event is safe and successful. But cooperation between the two countries is not as forthcoming as it should be, and the U.S. is partly to blame, says Rohrabacher.

"We have a demonizing of Putin and the current Russian government as if it was the same as Breznev in the Cold War days, which is absolutely a false image that's being created," said Rohrabacher.

For more of our interview with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, including why he thought President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday was "incredibly belligerent" and "arrogant," check out the video above.

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