Graham: Allowing Putin to question Americans would be 'absurd and naive'

Graham: Allowing Putin to question Americans would be 'absurd and naive'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamUS defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Lawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation MORE (R-S.C.) says it would be "absurd and naive" to accept an offer by Russian President Vladimir Putin granting access to Russian agents in exchange for letting Russian intelligence interrogate a former U.S. ambassador.

“There is no rule of law in Russia, there’s the rule of Putin,” said Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee and leading GOP voice on national security.

“If it were Switzerland requesting to talk to people, it would be different. I can’t see any circumstance where I would agree to allow the Russia government to talk to anybody,” he added.


The White House said Wednesday that it is mulling a proposal from Putin to allow Russian intelligence officials to interrogate former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul.

Graham said handing a former U.S. ambassador over to the Russian government “would be an offense to the State Department.”

The Kremlin also wants to interrogate businessman and Putin critic Bill Browder, who is a British citizen.

In exchange, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE would be allowed to sit in on interviews with 12 Russians indicted on charges of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE during a news conference alongside Putin earlier this week called it an “incredible offer.”

Graham, however, pushed back strongly on Thursday.

“Mr. Browder has committed no crimes other than standing up to Putin,” he said.

“I’m dead set against it. I don’t see any support for it,” he added.