Restoring Russia to G-7 'a mistake,' Graham says
It would be a mistake to allow Russia to rejoin the club of democratic counties, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday.
Speaking on ABCâs âThis Week,â Graham (R-S.C.) was asked about President Donald Trumpâs comments Friday when he called for Russia to be reinstated into the group of the worldâs largest economies known as the Group of Seve n. It was the G-8 until 2014, when the group expelled Russia over its invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The G-7âs current membership is the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.
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âExpanding the G-7 to the G-8 now would be a mistake,â Graham said. âThere is no way I would ever agree to give them that legitimacy.â
Republican Sens. Ben Sasse (Neb.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and John McCain (Ariz.) also criticized Trump's remarks.
âThe Soviet Union may have fallen, but the evil it represents is alive and well in [Vladimir] Putinâs Russia,â Graham said. Putin was reelected Russiaâs president in March. âHe is no friend of the United States, heâs dismembering democracies everywhere and trying to do so in our own backyard.â
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Sunday agreed that admitting Russia into a G-8 would be a mis take because the country under Putin's leadership interfered in Americaâs 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."