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Lindsey Graham on Moscow Sanctions: 'Got to Hit Russia in the Wallet'

Image: Lindsey Graham on Moscow Sanctions: 'Got to Hit Russia in the Wallet'
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Saturday, 07 April 2018 04:28 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Saturday backed President Donald Trump's new sanctions on Russian oligarchs, adding that President Vladimir Putin should be slapped with them too.

"It's a big step in the right direction," the South Carolina Republican told Paul Gigot on Fox News. "You've got to hit Russia in the wallet.

"A few people live very large in Russia at the expense of others," he added. "Hitting Putin's inner circle, making sure they can't take their ill-gotten gains and buy houses and yachts is the first step."

Citing "malign activity" around the world, the Trump administration on Friday placed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and 17 government officials.

Those affected included Putin's son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov, who operates in the Kremlin's energy sector.

A dozen Russian companies owned by the oligarchs were also targeted, along with a state-owned company that deals in arms and a subsidiary bank, the Treasury Department said.

Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Putin himself should "absolutely" be sanctioned by the United States because of the nerve-agent poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in London.

"The British say they believe that the attempted assassination inside of Britain of a former Russian spy, British citizen, was orchestrated by Putin," he told Gigot. "Our intelligence community believes Putin approved of the hacking into the 2016 election.

"The intelligence community tells us he's up to it again.

"Nothing happens in Russia of any consequence without him knowing it," the senator said. "That's the upside of being a dictator.

"You know about everything.

"But here's what I would do that's even bolder," Graham continued. "I would take all the customers that Russia sells oil and gas to, all the major customers, and see if I could provide oil and gas as an alternative to Russia.

"That would begin to cripple their economy."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham on Saturday backed President Donald Trump's new sanctions on Russian oligarchs, adding that President Vladimir Putin should be slapped with them too.
lindsey graham, russia, moscow, donald trump, vladimir putin, moscow
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2018-28-07
Saturday, 07 April 2018 04:28 PM
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