Sen. Lindsey Graham is calling on the Obama administration to send a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin by boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Graham is upset over Russia’s conduct in the Edward Snowden affair, as the NSA leaker continues to hide out in Moscow’s airport transit zone while Putin considers his request for asylum.
In response, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. continues to work with Russia and added that the Olympics are still a long way off.
Graham said it’s about a “lot more than just Snowden,” and maintains that he doesn’t want to punish American athletes. He points to Syria, saying Russia’s support for the Assad regime is the reason why the U.S.-backed rebels are losing.
“I want a world that’s not about to blow up. I want Russia to change and if you’ve got a better idea how to deal with Putin, let me know. He’s running all over us, running all over the world,” said Graham, pointing back to the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany and arguing that the host country uses the event to “sell itself.”
“[Russia] is walking all over the Obama administration and they need to push back.”