Lindsey Graham trolls Vladimir Putin ahead of Senate NATO vote
United States Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) gave a facetious nod to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday as the Senate was gearing up to vote to admit Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The measure passed 95-1. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) cast the only 'no' vote, while Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) voted present.
"One person that I want to thank, that I usually don't give a whole big shout out to, is President Putin from Russia. Without you, we wouldn't be here. You've done more to strengthen NATO than any speech I could hope to give," Graham remarked in an address to the Senate.
Finland and Sweden, both of which have maintained decades of neutrality, applied to join the defensive alliance in April in response to Putin's February 24th invasion of Ukraine. Putin has long sought to weaken NATO.
Graham also gave a nod to late Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), with whom he was a close friend.
"I wish you were here to celebrate," Graham said of McCain, "because what we've been able to accomplish here through Putin's invasion of Ukraine is to remind everybody in the world when it comes to bullies, you better stand up to them before it's too late."
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