Russian President Vladimir Putin is a dictator, and Donald Trump is showing a kind of "schizophrenia" with his praise of him as a strong leader, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday.
"Well, all I can say [is] that schizophrenia that you see is a little bit disturbing to me," the South Carolina Republican, who has continued to criticize Trump after dropping his own bid for the presidency, told the "CBS This Morning" program.
"I see Putin as a dictator. He's destroyed every semblance of democracy in his own country."
Trump has frequently praised Putin, including saying during NBC's Commander in Chief Forum last month that the Russian president has been "a leader far more than our president has been a leader."
Graham on Thursday, however, said he does have hope for the Trump ticket, but noted there seems to be some differing opinions between the GOP nominee and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, on issues such as when Pence told several television programs Thursday morning he and Trump support the establishment of safe zones in Syria.
"We have to act," Pence told "CBS This Morning" during his interview. "We have to act now to establish and protect those safe zones, and when I was talking the other night in the debate, I said, we absolutely should be prepared to use military force to establish and preserve the safe zones and the ability for people to safely evacuate out of those areas. We cannot stand idly by."
However, Graham said later in the morning that Pence's words were encouraging, but something he'd not heard before from the Trump campaign.
"It seems to me that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are being more robust when it comes to getting involved and protecting people and creating safe zones inside Syria," said Graham.
Meanwhile, Graham said in the past that he didn't want to vote for Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and said the choice between supporting Trump or then-candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was like being "short or poisoned."
But now, with the election coming closer, Graham said it's still too soon to decide if he still thinks the same thing about Trump.
"Here's what I do know, that if he's gonna be president of the United States, he needs to up his game," said Graham. "Putin's not our friend, but what I heard about Syria is encouraging."
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