Graham calls on Biden to declare Russia a sponsor of terrorism after ‘crimes against humanity’ revelation

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday called on the Biden administration to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism after the country’s alleged crimes against humanity during its invasion of Ukraine.

Graham, R-S.C., also said on ABC News’ ‘This Week’ that the U.S. should begin training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16s – one day after Vice President Kamala Harris announced at the Munich Security Conference that the administration ‘formally determined’ Vladmir Putin’s forces had committed crimes against humanity.

‘They need the weapons system,’ Graham said of Ukraine. ‘We’re talking about the vice president of the United States declaring that Russia is involved in crimes against humanity in Germany of all places, echoes of World War II. How can you say that – and she is correct – and not give the victim of the crime against humanity the defensive weapons they need to stop the crime?’

‘So, we need to do two things quickly,’ he continued. ‘Make Russia a state sponsor of terrorism under U.S. law, which would make it harder for China to give weapons to Russia, and we need to start training Ukrainian pilots on the F-16 now.’

Graham said he was more optimistic about Ukraine winning the war than ever before because of solidarity on the issue at home and abroad.

‘I’ve never seen NATO so united,’ he said. ‘The Germans have stepped up to the plate. There’s bipartisan support for winning this war in Ukraine, for giving the Ukrainians the weapons they need to defend themselves. I’m not worried about provoking Putin, I want to beat him.’

During her speech Saturday, Harris said Russia is committing ‘a widespread and systemic attack against a civilian population’ in Ukraine.

‘Gruesome acts of murder, torture, rape and deportation, executions, killings, beatings and electrocution,’ the vice president said. ‘Russian authorities have forcibly deported hundreds of thousands of people from Ukraine to Russia, including children.’

‘From the starting days of this unprovoked war, we have witnessed Russian forces engage in horrendous atrocities and war crimes. Their actions are an assault on our common values, an attack on our common humanity,’ she said.

The United States continues to lead the world in contributions to Ukraine with nearly $200 billion in promised or sent financial, military and humanitarian aid.

Some members of Congress are looking to put a stop to the spending, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, who introduced a resolution to end military and financial aid to Ukraine.

‘How much more for Ukraine? Is there any limit?’ asked Gaetz, R-Fla., on the House floor. ‘Which billionth dollar really kicks in the door? Which redline we set will we not later cross?’

The proposal would also urge Ukraine and Russia to seek a peace deal, requiring them to renew their negotiations.

The ‘Ukraine Fatigue Resolution’ has at least 10 co-sponsors and calls for the U.S. to ‘end its military and financial aid to Ukraine and urges all combatants to reach a peace agreement.’

In January, President Biden approved additional security assistance to Ukraine, including 31 Abrams M1 tanks. 

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.

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