Republican Senator: Russia Invaded Ukraine Because of Benghazi
There is no shortage of people trying to tie the Russian incursion into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea into their own personal narrative but some are finding it a difficult fit. On Tuesday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the top ranking members of the GOP, tweeted that Russia’s military action against Ukraine is the result of the way that the Obama Administration handled the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi.
Graham’s tweet read “It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression.”
The senator followed that up with “Putin basically came to the conclusion after Benghazi, Syria, Egypt – everything Obama has been engaged in – he’s a weak indecisive leader.” Graham then added “I think Putin believes Obama is really all talk and no action. And unless we push back soon, the worse is yet to come.” (It’s “worst”, Senator, “worst.”)
In an earlier interview with CNN, Graham was asked what he wanted Obama to do about Russia’s actions. Graham responded with “Well number one, stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators,” Graham began. “It is not your strong suit. Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin — or anyone like Putin — everybody’s eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression.”
He went on to say, “How about this? Suspend Russian membership in the G-8, in the G-20, at least for a year, starting right now. And for every day they stay in the Crimea, add to the suspension. Do something!“
Fellow Republican Senator and Graham’s good friend John McCain took to the Senate floor, criticizing Obama’s response to Russia’s actions, saying “This president does not understand Vladimir Putin. He does not understand his ambitions. He does not understand that Vladimir Putin is an old KGB colonel bent on restoration of the Soviet– of the Russian empire.”
Both Senators have also been vocal critics of Obama and the Pentagon’s proposed budget, which reduces the number of troops in the US Army. Graham called the budget a “gutting of our defense.”