While Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to be ‘friends’ with Russia, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham wants Congress to investigate it.
The former presidential candidate is proposing that Congress hold a series of hearings on “Russia’s misadventures throughout the world” — including whether they were involved in “hacking into the DNC.”
“Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?” said the Senator. “Assuming for a moment that we do believe that the Russian government was controlling outside organizations that hacked into our election, they should be punished. Putin should be punished,” according to Graham.
U.S. intelligence and security officials have already alleged that Russia was involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee which resulted in the leaking of sensitive emails, most notably by WikiLeaks, during the election season.
The South Carolina Senator is a longtime leading foreign policy expert in the Senate. “Here’s what I would tell Republicans: We cannot sit on the sidelines as a party and let allegations against a foreign government interfering in our election process go unanswer3ed because it may have been beneficial to our cause,” he said.
Acknowledging his less than cordial relationship with Trump, he offered an olive branch to “do everything to help him, because he’ll be commander in chief in dangerous times. He wants to reset with Russia. Maybe he can do it. But here’s my view about Russia: They’re a bad actor in the world and they need to be reined in.” Both Graham and his close friend and colleague Senator John McCain of Arizona have been openly critical of Trump’s foreign policy desires with Russia, repeatedly accusing him of trying to cozy up to a dictator who cannot be trusted.
“He is the president of the United States, and he is the leading diplomat for the country, but Congress has a role.”