- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Lindsey Graham bared some sharp teeth against President Donald Trump during a recent television news interview, calling out the commander-in-chief for his “dumbest idea” on working with Russia on cybersecurity.

It’s not the greatest sounding notion, at least on surface. But why do Republicans — make that, elitist, entrenched Republicans — always have to jump to the forefront of criticizing and condemning this president on national TV?

Isn’t that the job of the Democrats to do?

Besides, as Trumptweeted: “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen.”

In other words, talk can be just talk. Politicians do it all the time. Sometimes, it’s called diplomacy. Sometimes, strategic bantering.

But Graham took that talk and ran with it.

At least Graham could’ve couched his criticisms in tactful terms. But he didn’t. He pulled out the machete and went to chopping.

“When it comes to Russia, I am dumbfounded, I am disappointed and at the end of the day, he’s hurting his presidency by not embracing the fact that [Vladimir] Putin is a bad guy,” Graham said Sunday on “Meet the Press” on NBC. “He is literally the only person I know of who doesn’t believe Russia attacked our election in 2016.”

And then this, on Trump’s idea of working on cybersecurity issues with Russia: “[It’s] pretty close [to the] dumbest idea I’ve ever heard,” Graham said, The Hill reported.

Graham, for good measure, also faulted Trump for his “disastrous” first face-to-face with Putin, and accused the president of having a “blind spot” about Russia.

Graham’s comments came on the heels of several tweets from Trump about his meeting with Putin, and his plans to move forward on policy, rather than wallow in sanctions.

“I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion,” Trump tweeted.

“We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives,” Trump also tweeted. “Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

And then this: “Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.”

Graham would much rather see more sanctions put on Russia for election meddling.

“This whole idea about moving forward without punishing Russia is undermining his entire presidency,” Graham said.

Well, more to truth: The fact that the media, the Democrats and several in the Republican Party seem to work together to fuel the whole Russia-Trump collusion story actually undermines this White House.

Remember: There’s been no proof, no facts, no evidence tying Trump with Russia on election shenanigans. Yet the story still has steam. How?

Because of the left-leaning media. Because of Democrats who want Trump impeached. Because of intelligence agents whose noses were snubbed by Trump’s insistence to clean up the deep state. And, sadly, because of Republicans, like Graham, who never wanted to see Trump elected to the presidency in the first place.

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