It’s not President Barack Obama’s fault that Russia invaded and took Crimea away from Ukraine, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday.
In an interview aired on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” the South Carolina Republican declared President Donald Trump must “make sure” the United States doesn’t give Russia and Iran a chance to take Syria — and acknowledged that Russia continues to meddle in the U.S. elections.
"It's not Obama's fault that Crimea was taken by Russia. It's Russia's fault," Graham said, adding that “in many ways” the Trump administration “has been tough on Russia.”
Graham said, however if Trump pulls U.S. troops out of Syria “any time soon, you're giving Damascus to the Iranians. So everything you said about Obama and Iraq you're going to do in Syria. Please don't do that.”
He also criticized Trump for his stance on Russia’s election meddling.
“The idea that Russia did not meddle in our election is fake news,” Graham declared. “They did meddle in our election and they're doing it again in 2018.”
“I’m concerned when the president tweets, you know, Russia denies they meddled in our election,” he said. “When they say they didn't meddle, they're lying, so I'm glad the President is going to confront Putin. Show him the evidence you got, Mr. President, because it's overwhelming.”
Graham added that “this whole idea that there is doubt they meddled in our election is probably not helpful at all.”
Graham, who was in Turkey during the interview, also talked about reports that North Korea had stepped up uranium production.
“It would concern me a lot if they are expanding the nuclear program as they meet with the President,” he said. “I don't want a war with North Korea. It would be devastating. A lot of people would be killed and hurt.”
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