Biden Not Sending Rockets to Ukraine Is 'Betrayal' to Democracy: Graham

President Joe Biden on Monday said the U.S. would not be providing Ukraine with rocket systems that could potentially reach Russia. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina denounced the president's decision on Twitter, calling it a "betrayal" of democracy.

The Washington Post and CNN both reported on Friday that the Biden administration was preparing to provide Ukraine with the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS, that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested multiple times. The Ukrainian leader has argued the rocket systems, which can fire rockets hundreds of kilometers, could shift the direction of the war that began in late February when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to attack.

While Biden was speaking with reporters outside the White House on Monday, he was asked about the reports that the U.S. was going to send the MLRS to Zelensky's forces.

Joe Biden speaks to the media
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, criticized President Joe Biden's decision to not provide Ukraine with long-range rocket systems. In this photo, Biden is seen speaking to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 30, 2022. Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

"We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia," Biden answered.

Graham stated his displeasure with the president on the matter in a tweet.

"The Biden Administration's decision not to send these weapons is a betrayal of #Ukraine️ and democracy itself," the GOP lawmaker wrote. "Ukraine is not asking for American soldiers—just advanced weapons to protect and defend themselves from Putin's invasion."

Graham's Twitter post came soon after the president's remarks to members of the media.

Graham had already weighed in on the issue following the publication of the reports on Friday that Biden's team was mulling over the idea of sending long-range rocket systems to Ukraine.

"So frustrated," Graham tweeted on Friday. "The Biden Administration has been dragging their feet on Ukraine's request for long range weapons like the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) which have longer range than Howitzers and the ability to hit Russian forces in the east."

In a series of follow-up tweets on Friday, Graham also wrote that "It is time to stop Putin from dictating the actions of the free world" and "[g]ive Ukraine the rocket system and other weapons they need to take the fight to Russia."

Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, the former president of Russia and current deputy head of Russia's Security Council, called Biden's decision "reasonable," according to the Associated Press.

He added that "if our cities come under attack, the Russian armed forces would fulfill (their) threat and strike the centers where such criminal decisions are made."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.