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 GrahamCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Warren: Officials have duty ‘to invoke 25th amendment’ if they think Trump is unfit 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration 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.