US President Donald Trump should come clean and back moves to “kick Russia’s ass” for its alleged meddling in last year’s US election, senior Republican senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday.
Trump has been embroiled in questions over his ties with Russia and this week his national security advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign over contacts with Moscow’s ambassador in Washington.
The president has repeatedly said he wants to improve relations with Russia but Graham said Trump should be much more focused on hitting back at Russia over its alleged hacking of the Democratic Party’s network to discredit candidate Hillary Clinton in his favour.
“My goal is to put it on Trump’s desk and I hope he will embrace the idea that as the leader of the free world he should be working with us to punish Russia,” Lindsey told a Munich Security Conference panel.
“2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the ass in Congress,” he said.
Graham said the president needed to be completely open. “My biggest concern with President Trump ... is that he’s never really looked the camera in the eye.”
The president should do that and say: “‘Even though it was the Democratic Party that suffered from Russian interference, I am now the leader of the free world and I can assure you they’re going to pay a price on my watch for trying to interfere in our election,’“ Graham said.