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Graham: 'It's time for the Russians to pay a price' for cyberattacks

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden to host Afghan president at White House on Friday Portman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight MORE (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that Russia should be held responsible for recent cyberattacks on U.S.-based companies.

“Our critical infrastructure is very exposed, and we need to harden it, but more than anything else, we need to go on offense. You can only play defense so long,” Graham said on “Full Court Press With Greta Van Susteren.” “It’s time for the Russians to pay a price here because none of this would happen without their looking the other way or actively encouraging it.” 

Graham added that he doesn’t believe Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinA balance of pragmatism and agendas shaped the U.S.-Russia summit Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight Christie: 'No damage was done' from Biden's overseas trip MORE was directly involved in the hacks despite the hackers having ties to Russia.

“I don’t think he said and told them to hack into the oil pipeline. I think these people live in Russia with impunity. They’re tied to the Russian intelligence services. They’re an extension of the Russian government. They’re one-off. They’re, to me, cyber terrorists living within Russia, attacking our interests,” Graham said.

“What would the response be if there was a terrorist organization living in a country actively attacking America? Would we be going after that country to help us? That’s exactly what’s happening. Cyber terrorism is emanating from Russia, and we’re not doing a damn thing about it, and that needs to change,” he added.