Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton on Thursday applauded the Trump White House for imposing stronger sanctions on Russia for its election meddling and hacking other key infrastructure.
The Republicans — Graham representing South Carolina and Cotton Arkansas — are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"I have long argued Vladimir Putin is not — and has never been — America's friend," Graham said in a statement.
"Whether it was the brazen nerve gas attack in England, cyberattacks on the American electrical grid and institutions, meddling in American elections, aggression against Ukraine, or continued actions in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad, Putin is committed to harming the security and well-being of the United States."
Graham cautioned, however: "I fear many Americans only view the threat posed by Putin's Russia through the lens of the 2016 election.
"Putin's actions and intentions against United States citizens, and our allies, go far beyond one election.
"Putin's Russia is striking at the very heart of the freedoms, democratic values and liberty all Americans hold dear," he said. "His aim is to disrupt every aspect of our lives, right down to having the ability to shut off the power in Americans' homes or businesses.
"Left unchecked, Putin's Russia will continue to sow discord," Graham said.
In his statement, Cotton said that "even more must be done."
"We must take a strong stand to make clear this type of behavior from Putin's Russia — nerve gas attacks, cyberattacks, meddling in elections and more — will not be tolerated today, tomorrow or ever."
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