Sen. Graham: Obama Administration ‘Didn’t Act Like’ Russian Interference Was Cyber Equivalent of 9/11

By Melanie Arter | December 4, 2017 | 11:16 AM EST

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) (Screenshot of CBS video)

( – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that despite an Obama administration official claim that Russian interference in the 2016 election was the cyber equivalent of 9/11, the Obama administration only gave the Russians “a slap on the wrist” before Trump took office.

“Well, number one, the Obama administration sure didn't act like it was a 9/11. They were late to the game and did this-- this, the least amount possible. What they did in the interim before Trump took office was a slap on the wrist. I don't buy that whole narrative,” Graham said.

CBS host John Dickerson said a “former Obama administration official says the interference was the cyber equivalent or espionage equivalent of 9/11. So if after that kind of an event, give me your foreign policy judgment about an incoming administration that then says to the perpetrators of an event that that's serious. ‘Hey, let's work out a deal on these sanctions that are going to punish you for that behavior, don't overreact because we'll-- we'll be on your side later when we're in the administration.’”

Graham said he has no problem with the Trump administration reaching out to the Russians.

“I don't have a problem with the Trump administration reaching out to the Russians. We're going to take a different view about sanctions and we're going to seek your help in the U.N. Security Council,” he said.

“Even given your rough opinion of the Russians on what they did, it's okay to play footsie?” Dickerson asked.

“Yeah. Well, here's what I'm saying, that behavior after the election is reaching out to foreign government that we have a different view about things. I'm not here to condemn the president about that. Here's what I'm saying that collusion between a campaign and a foreign government is unacceptable,” Graham said.

“There is no evidence of collusion. Nobody has been charged with it, but you found the one person who would know if it did exist. So it won't be long before we understand one way or the other whether Trump people colluded with Russia because I can't imagine it happening and Flynn not know about it,” Graham added.

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