June 7, 2019

This really is stunning, as CNN's John Berman explains.

"Breaking news this morning. CNN has just obtained this image. Look at this. This is a near-collision between U.S. and Russian navy warships in the Pacific. The ships came so close together that the U.S. Navy says they were forced to throw its cruiser into reverse and hit the gas to avoid the crash," Berman said.

"It's the Russian vessel on the left. You can see by the wake apparently coming in at an angle. The United States is very upset about this. And there are questions about whether or not this was some kind of provocation."

He introduced Sen. Mazie Hirono, who serves on the Armed Services committee.

"I don't know if you had a chance to look at the image, so let me put it back on the screen. When you see this, what are your concerns?"

"My concern is that that was practically a near miss and so something like that should not happen at all. And yes, we do need to investigate whether or not there was some kind of a provocation going on there, because one would think that there are enough sensors or whatever, equipment on both of these ships to avoid this kind of near miss," Sen. Hiron said.

"Yeah. That is very close for two vessels at sea. As you look at the world, and again, I should note that Vladimir Putin, Russian leader, meeting with Xi Jinping in St. Petersburg this morning. What's your sense of what Russia is trying to do globally?" Berman asked.

"It is trying to reassert itself as a country, even as its economy is basically on a downward turn. And you've got China just probably smacking her lips at the prospect of getting into Russia. And this is a plan that they want to become, in my view, and others' views, that they want to become the most economically strong power as well as militarily strong power in the world. That's what I think. and so they've been very busy all over the world -- in Africa, in the Pacific."

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