Sen. Graham: Russia, Putin 'Earned' State Sponsor of Terror Label

Sen. Graham: Russia, Putin 'Earned' State Sponsor of Terror Label
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Not only should Congress move to declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, but the U.S. should do everything in its power to help Ukraine win the war with Russia and Vladimir Putin, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday.

"Putin winning is a disaster for the United States," Graham told "Fox News Sunday." "That means he's going to move forward further in Europe. He's trying rewrite the map of Europe.

"We need to triple down on our willingness to help the Ukraine."

That not only includes Congress passing $33 billion more in aid, but also passing Graham's bill co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., to designate Russia as state sponsor of terrorism.

"Putin's in charge of a state sponsor of terrorism; that designation needs to be given to Russia," Graham told host Brett Baier. "He's earned that designation. We need to pour it on when it comes to helping Ukraine."

Graham noted Putin has created a situation where there is no "off ramp" for his invasion of Ukraine so the U.S. must aid the Ukrainians with cash and lethal weapons.

Putin is a war criminal in the eyes of the world. Putin must go.

"If you don't understand this: That if Putin is still standing after all this, the world's going be a very dark place," Graham said, repeating his controversial past call for an uprising in Russia to replace its longtime leader. "China's going to get the wrong signal and we'll have a mess in Europe for decades to come, so let's take out Putin by helping Ukraine.

"There's no off ramp. The Ukrainians are not going to give the east to Putin to stop the war. They're going to fight for every inch of their territory. If we push the Ukrainians to give up half the country, then Putin wins.

"If we back off prosecuting Putin as a war criminal, all the laws on the books become a joke. If we don't get this right, China will certainly invade Taiwan.

"There is no off ramp in this war. Somebody's going to win and somebody's going to lose."

Graham pointed to the words Saturday from CIA Director William Burns.

"Burns said, the CIA director, said Putin will double down because he can't lose in Ukraine," Graham told Baier. "Well, I want to triple down because we can't let him win in Ukraine.

"We're in a fight for the future of Europe," Graham continued. "NATO needs to get bigger, not smaller.

"If Finland and Sweden join NATO, and Europe breaks away from dependence on Russian oil and gas and Putin is declared a war criminal, that would be the best outcome for the world writ large."

Graham added a nuclear strike in Ukraine is effectively an attack on NATO.

"If he explodes a nuclear weapon inside of Ukraine to break our will, to me that will be an attack on NATO, because the radiation will go all over Europe," Graham concluded.

"I can see him getting more desperate, because there's no off ramp for him."

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