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GOP Senator Urges Trump: 'Go After Russia Because They're Coming After Us'

President Trump is failing to ensure that Russia does not harm the United States, Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested Sunday.

The Daily Mail reported that the South Carolina Republican asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” why the president has not ordered the additional sanctions on the Kremlin that Congress approved. “I think that the Trump administration is slow when it comes to Russia,” Graham said. “They have a blind spot on Russia I still can’t figure out.”

On Aug. 2, the president signed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which called for him to “issue regulations or other guidance to specify the persons that are part of, or operate for or on behalf of, the defense and intelligence sectors of the government of the Russian Federation.” The legislation also authorized more sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

Trump has taken no action. He reportedly inked the bill reluctantly, without the usual signing ceremony with reporters and photographers. The president complained that the measure, which gives Congress the power to prevent him from lifting sanctions on other countries, restricts his authority.

Graham warned that the Russians are an ongoing threat to U.S. democracy. “In ‘16, they interfered in our elections,” he said. “I don’t think it affected the outcome, but in ‘18 and ‘20, they’re coming back against us. … Congress will have a way to hold the president accountable. I think he’s beginning to understand the threats we face better and better each day.”

According to U.S. intelligence officials, Russian leader Vladimir Putin directed last year’s cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Moscow also reportedly circulated fake news in social media in an attempt to help Trump win, and may have hacked voter-registration systems and voting machines. Putin continues to deny the charges.

“What are the rules of engagement?” Graham asked. “Did what they do in 2016 – did that amount to an act of war? How do you respond to cyber threats? We’re really not well together as a nation in terms of the threats we’re facing from the cyber arena. But Russia is going to get worse, if not better. Mr. President, go after Russia because they’re coming after us.”

Newsweek noted that Trump’s decision to not impose the sanctions has renewed concerns about his cozy relationship with Putin. The president has repeatedly praised the Russian strongman and denied that he meddled in the election. During his White House bid, Trump advocated closer ties with the Kremlin. Numerous members of the Trump campaign and the administration have had contacts with Russian officials.

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is leading a federal investigation of the alleged election tampering and trying to determine whether Trump associates colluded in the effort. Mueller’s legal team also is looking into whether the president obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May. Trump admitted he sacked the bureau chief because he wanted to squelch the Russian probe.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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