It would be a mistake to allow Russia to rejoin the club of democratic counties, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,“ Graham (R-S.C.) was asked about President Donald Trump’s comments Friday when he called for Russia to be reinstated into the group of the world’s largest economies known as the Group of Seven. It was the G-8 until 2014, when the group expelled Russia over its invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The G-7’s current membership is the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.
“Expanding the G-7 to the G-8 now would be a mistake,” Graham said. “There is no way I would ever agree to give them that legitimacy.”
Republican Sens. Ben Sasse (Neb.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and John McCain (Ariz.) also criticized Trump’s remarks.
“The Soviet Union may have fallen, but the evil it represents is alive and well in [Vladimir] Putin’s Russia,” Graham said. Putin was reelected Russia’s president in March. “He is no friend of the United States, he’s dismembering democracies everywhere and trying to do so in our own backyard.”
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Sunday agreed that admitting Russia into a G-8 would be a mistake because the country under Putin’s leadership interfered in America’s 2016 election.
“I believe Putin gave instructions to the intelligence services of that country to do just that and mix it up in the election,” Feinstein said on CNN. “That is unacceptable. So, as far as most of us are concerned, Russia has not yet apologized. Russia has not yet said this will never happen again.”