On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to discuss the issue of Russia’s interference in the presidential election.
During the interview, Graham, who appeared alongside Sen. John McCain (R-A.Z.), said that he believed Trump was worried that an acknowledgment that Russia interfered in the election would undermine his own credibility as president.
Graham dismissed those concerns and warned that if the U.S. allows Russia to get away with this recent hacking scandal, then other nations might attempt it in the future.
‘All I’m asking him is to acknowledge that Russia interfered and push back. It could Iran next time. It could be China. It was Democrats today; it could be Republicans in the next election.’
Graham went on to condemn his fellow Republicans who were “gleeful” regarding Russia’s aid.
‘We should all — Republicans, Democrats — condemn Russia for what they did. To my Republican friends who are gleeful, you’re making a huge mistake.
‘…Most Republicans are condemning what Russia did. And to those who are gleeful about it — you’re a political hack. You’re not a Republican. You’re not a patriot.’
Graham also spoke about Trump’s desire for a better relationship with Russia. The South Carolina senator seemed confused by Trump’s blindspot regarding Putin. Graham acknowledged that he believes Trump is right when it comes to Iran and North Korea, but doesn’t seem to understand the threat posed by Russia.
Graham also warned that Congress would not sit idly by and simply rubber stamp Trump’s policies when it came to dealing with the Kremlin.
‘I don’t know what drives him on Russia, but I do know this. That if our policies don’t change vis a vis Russia, the worst is yet to come. And the Congress is going to have a different view on Russia than the president-elect does.’
McCain expressed broader concerns about the U.S.’s cybersecurity saying that Russia had the capacity to do damage beyond simply interfering in elections.
‘It isn’t just elections that they are hacking into. It is across the board, including military secrets that we have, including the ability to shut down satellites, including the ability to shut down power plants. I mean, they can do grave danger to the United States of America.’
Despite their current support for the president-elect, both senators expressed some reservations regarding Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
For more information, you can see the full interview below courtesy of NBC:
Featured image via screenshot from video.