Graham Signals He Won’t Vote For Tillerson If He Rejects Russia Sanctions

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested in a Thursday interview that his vote to confirm Rex Tillerson as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state will depend on the ExxonMobil CEO’s position on imposing new sanctions on Russia.

In an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Graham said that he would have a “very hard” time voting to confirm Tillerson if he does not support new sanctions on Russia.

“It comes down to this for Mr. Tillerson with me. I want you to be briefed by the FBI and CIA about what Russia did in our election and what they’re doing all over the world and I want you to come forward and say whether or not you believe they interfered in our elections, they are interfering in other democracies, and if you say they are not, I will be troubled by your judgment,” Graham said. “If you say they are, then what are you going to do about it.”

He called for sanctions on Putin “as an individual and his inner circle,” and said he did not regret imposing sanctions on Russia in 2014, which Tillerson opposed.

“We need to sanction them again,” Graham said. “So my question for Mr. Tillerson: Do you realize what Russia is up to here and all over the world and are you willing to do something about it, do you support new sanctions, and if he doesn’t, it’d be very hard for me to vote for him because you’re giving a green light to this behavior.”

Watch the segment below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK