Former Republican presidential candidate says Russia hacked his accounts, calls for ‘crippling sanctions’ against Putin

caption
Sen. Lindsey Graham.
source
Screenshot via CNN

Sen. Lindsey Graham accused Russian hackers of targeting his campaign accounts in an interview on CNN Wednesday.

Graham, a former Republican presidential candidate, said the vendor that administered his campaign’s accounts was hacked in June.

Graham, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, floated the possibility of “crippling sanctions” to help rein in Russia.

“This is not a Republican/Democratic issue. I want to punish them for interfering in our elections, trying to destabilize the entire world,” Graham said.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer challenged Graham’s assertion, saying President-elect Trump likely would not support stronger sanctions.

“I don’t work for Donald Trump,” Graham said, “I’m in the legislative branch. We have the ability to formulate foreign policy, but he’s the commander in chief … I want to help reset the world when it comes to Russia.”

Some GOP lawmakers have opposed moves to investigate Russia’s alleged interference.

Rep. Chris Collins of New York said in a separate CNN interview on Wednesday, “I don’t think we should continue investigations because, at the end, what do we really accomplish? We need to unite the country.”

A CIA analysis of Russia’s alleged interference in the US presidential election determined that hackers close to the Russian government gained access to both the Democratic and Republican parties.

While US intelligence officials say no information pertinent to the Republican Party was released, troves of emails and documents that were damaging to Democratic organizations and its presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, were distributed via WikiLeaks in the months leading up to the election.

Watch Sen. Lindsey Graham’s comments below:

Sen. Lindsey Graham: My goalis to put “crippling sanctions” on Russia https://t.co/skSafVuKgc

https://t.co/skSafVuKgcDecember 14,2016

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Russianshacked into my campaign account https://t.co/UYpqI3esEb https://t.co/lOdrMVb6Gc

https://t.co/UYpqI3esEbhttps://t.co/lOdrMVb6GcDecember 14,2016

Sen. Lindsey Graham onTrump’s comments about hacking: “If this was a 400 lb.guy, it was a 400 lb. Russian guy” https://t.co/AdJaNNWodo

https://t.co/AdJaNNWodoDecember 14,2016