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Graham on potential Chinese ‘lethal assistance’ to Russia: ‘If you jump on the Putin train now, you’re dumber than dirt’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday weighed in on a new warning from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China is considering sending “lethal assistance” to Russia, saying anyone who backs Moscow at this point in its war with Ukraine is “dumber than dirt.” 

“What Secretary Blinken said is big news to me. He believes that the Chinese are on the verge of providing lethal weapons to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Graham said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

“And to the Chinese, if you jump on the Putin train now, you’re dumber than dirt. It would be like buying a ticket on the Titanic after you saw the movie. Don’t do this. The most catastrophic thing that could happen to [the] U.S.-China relationship, in my opinion, is for China … to start to give lethal weapons to Putin in this crime against humanity. That would change everything forever,” Graham said.

The senator said the global community needs to “come down hard on China” if Beijing moves to provide the possible aid and urged the U.S. to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism under American law. He also pushed to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets and answer Kyiv’s calls for the aircraft.

“If that happens, the world needs to come down hard on China because if you believe, as I do, and the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, believes, that Russia is engaged in crimes against humanity in Ukraine, any country that comes to their aid should pay a heavy price,” Graham said.

Vice President Harris said in a speech at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday that the U.S. has formally determined Russia has committed crimes against humanity during the war. 

“We’re talking about the vice president of the United States declaring that Russia is involved in crimes against humanity in Germany of all places, you know, echoes of World War II. How can she say that — and she is correct — and not give the victim of the crime against humanity the defensive weapons they need to stop the crime?” Graham asked on ABC.

“So we need to do two things quickly, make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law, which would make it harder for China to give weapons to Russia, and we need to start training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 now,” the senator added.

Graham is among a number of Republicans who have pushed the Biden administration to hold Beijing accountable on human rights concerns, trade tensions and other issues.

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Kamala Harris Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham russia

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