Graham unloads on Trump: Blind spot on Russia 'undermining his entire presidency'

A senior Senate Republican on Sunday said President Trump’s plan to work with Russia on cybersecurity is “pretty close” to the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects Trump critics push new direction for GOP Graham warns about trying to 'drive' Trump from GOP: 'Half the people will leave' MORE (R-S.C.) called Trump’s Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin “disastrous” and said the president has a “blind spot” on Russia.

“When it comes to Russia I am dumbfounded, I am disappointed, and at the end of the day he’s hurting his presidency by not embracing the fact that Putin is a bad guy,” Graham said on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”


“He is literally the only person I know of who doesn’t believe Russia attacked our election in 2016,” Graham said of Trump, who has said that “nobody really knows” whether the Russians were behind attempts to hack the 2016 presidential election.

Graham stressed that there is no evidence the Russian meddling influenced the vote, but he said that by denying the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies, Trump “throws our intelligence communities under the bus.”

Trump on Sunday tweeted about working with the Russians, writing, "it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!"

He also said only four intelligence agencies have concluded Russia meddled in the election. Those agencies are the CIA, the National Security Agency, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Graham slammed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump for being “ready to forgive and forget” when it comes to Russian attacks on the 2016 presidential election.

“This whole idea about moving forward without punishing Russia is undermining his entire presidency,” he said. Graham is pushing for increased sanctions on Russia. The Senate passed such a bill, but it is currently delayed in the House. Reports have indicated the White House wants to soften the language.

“The more you do this, the more people are suspicious about you and Russia,” Graham warned Trump. "I am intent on punishing the Russians for interfering in our election."