Lindsey Graham slams Trump for Putin press conference, says it was a 'sign of weakness'

  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham slammed President Donald Trump for not forcefully addressing the subject of Russian election interference during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • The South Carolina senator also recommended Trump check a soccer ball Putin gifted to him for “listening devices” and urged him to never bring it to the White House.
  • During the press conference, Trump said he didn’t see “any reason” Russia would attack the US electoral system.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Monday slammed President Donald Trump for not forcefully addressing the subject of Russian election interference during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

“Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections,” Graham tweeted. “This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves.”

Graham also called for Congress to hold hearings on “the extent and scope of any cooperation with Russia in Syria regarding Iran’s presence.”

The South Carolina senator also recommended Trump check a soccer ball Putin gifted to him for “listening devices” and urged him to never bring it to the White House.

Graham was careful to note he did not believe there was any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but was clear he believed election interference did occur. “Russia did meddle in 2016 election & are trying it again,” Graham tweeted.

During the press conference, Putin denied Russia interfered in the US presidential election and lambasted reporters for questioning him about it. Meanwhile, Trump said Putin’s denials in this regard were “powerful,” adding that he didn’t see “any reason” why Russia would attack the US electoral system.

The US intelligence community has concluded Russia interfered in the election. In recent days, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has warned the Kremlin is planning future attacks on US elections.

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Trump’s decision to essentially side with Putin over the US intelligence community was “nothing short of treasonous.”

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