Sen. Graham: U.S. Should Boycott Winter Olympics If Russia Gives Snowden Asylum


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested Tuesday that the United States should boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics if Russia offers asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. 

Next year’s winter games are slated to be held in Sochi, Russia. 

“I would. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them,” Graham told The Hill when asked about a possible boycott.

“It might help, because what they’re doing is outrageous,” Graham added. “We certainly haven’t reset our relationship with Russia in a positive way. At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum it’s a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States.” 

But Graham’s longtime ally on Capitol Hill, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), didn’t seem as receptive to a boycott.

“There’s many things we can do, but I think the experience of canceling the Olympics the last time around wasn’t very good,” McCain said, as quoted by The Hill.

The United States and the Soviet Union each boycotted the Olympics during the 1980s amid the Cold War. First, the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, prompting the U.S.S.R. to boycott the summer games in Los Angeles four years later. 


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at