Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Wednesday that his campaign’s email vendor had been hacked by Russian agents before calling for harsh sanctions against Russia as a deterrent against such attacks in the future.
Graham told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he didn’t think the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and others swayed the election results. But he said he did not have any doubt that Russia was behind the theft of emails.
“I do believe the Russians hacked into the DNC. I do believe they hacked into Podesta’s email account. They hacked into my campaign account,” he said. “I do believe that all the information released publicly hurt Clinton and didn’t hurt Trump. I don’t think the outcome of the election is in doubt. What we should do is not turn on each other but work as one people to push back on Russia.”
“Our campaign vendor that we use was hacked,” Graham continued later. “We were told by the FBI in August that we were hacked in June. So this is—They’re trying to destabilize democracy all over the world, not just here. It’s just not about pulling for Trump, it’s bigger than that.”
Graham didn’t name what email vendor his campaign employed, and a spokesperson did not immediately respond Thursday morning to TPM’s request for that information.
Graham has frequently called on the Obama administration to apply more pressure to Russia in the form of sanctions for its annexation of Crimea, in Ukraine. Last week, he was one of 12 Senate Republicans who, along with 15 Democrats, called on President-elect Trump to maintain sanctions on Russia and provide “defensive lethal assistance” to the Ukrainian government, a stance that was removed from the Republican Party’s official platform this summer reportedly at the urging of Trump allies.
This week, Graham, along with Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Minority Leader-elect Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for both houses of Congress to investigate Russian hacking of political figures and organizations.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that unnamed agents in the CIA had presented members of Congress with evidence that Russian-backed actors hacked Democrats’ email accounts with the aim of helping Donald Trump win the presidency. Other unnamed intelligence sources have expressed doubt that Russia wanted anything more than to discredit the electoral process. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that several Congressional candidates’ campaigns had been hacked as well.
Watch below via CNN:
This post has been updated.