Graham, McCain want answers on Sessions-Russia report

Posted at 9:54 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 21:54:45-05

(CNN) — Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday if the FBI determines that President Donald Trump’s campaign illegally coordinated with Russia, Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from making the decision whether to pursue prosecutions.

Sessions, a Trump appointee, “cannot make this decision,” Graham said.

But Graham deflected a question about a new Washington Post report that Sessions twice spoke with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying he needs to know more.

“If there were contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, they may be legitimate; they may be OK. I want to know what happened between the Trump campaign, the Clinton campaign and the Russians,” Graham told CNN’s Dana Bash at a town hall in Washington with Sen. John McCain.

Both McCain and Graham lambasted Trump over his approach to Russia and the country’s President, Vladimir Putin.

“When it comes to Russia, he has a blind spot. The bottom line is that Putin is disrupting democracy everywhere,” Graham said.

McCain, who has called for a select committee to investigate Russia’s attempts to influence the US election, said the country’s efforts require more attention.

“Have no doubt, what the Russians tried to do to our election could have destroyed democracy,” he said. “And that’s why we’ve got to pay a hell of a lot more attention to the Russians and the things they’re doing in Europe — and right now, they’re trying to determine the outcome of the French election, and they’re using cyber.”