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

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2015 file photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Visiting Iowa for the first time this year, Graham got some advice from Republicans... FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2015 file photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Visiting Iowa for the first time this year, Graham got some advice from Republicans already thinking about the state’s lead-off presidential caucuses. “I need to show up,” he says they told him. Graham spent two days in Iowa this week, mostly attending private events with Republican elected officials and activists as part of his efforts to “test the waters” for a potential campaign. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

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:

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Get 'em Lindsey! But don’t forget he will lie right to your face, right into the camera and not give the slightest damn.

    Just like Chief Justice Roberts.

  2. Heh. Well that an a dollar will get you a cup of coffee, especially as “go along to get along” Manchin votes for Tillerson and renders your protest moot.

  3. I was gonna say…

    Man, what in the world makes you think that anything he says in a confirmation hearing will have any effect on what he’ll do in the office?

    Stop asking for politicians to say stuff, and look at what their record shows… Trump said a lot of stuff to get elected too… How’s his promise to “drain the swamp” going so far?

    And what exactly do you think you can do about it, now that he’s won the election?

  4. Graham and McCain vote as a couple, and the senior Arizona Senator voting no might give Flake cover…if he doesn’t flake. Gotta keep writing/calling Collins.

  5. If actual, tangible evidence of Graham being a closeted gay man is now leaked, we’ll know that Resident-Select Dumblefuck has Pooty’s people on retainer for black ops.

Continue the discussion at

59 more replies


Avatar for system1 Avatar for josephebacon Avatar for ajaykalra Avatar for ottercliff Avatar for mattinpa Avatar for clunkertruck Avatar for commiedearest Avatar for inlabsitrust Avatar for randyabraham Avatar for johnscotus Avatar for tomanjeri Avatar for geofu54 Avatar for rb639 Avatar for captaincommonsense Avatar for tena Avatar for muddylee Avatar for jonney_5 Avatar for cgd Avatar for jacksonhts Avatar for jesus_quintana Avatar for dannydorko Avatar for coprophagoussmile Avatar for jakebarnes Avatar for drtv

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: