Lindsey Graham Says 'Putin Owns Biden,' President Afraid of Escalation

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin "owns" Joe Biden, as he reflected on the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

While speaking to Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday night, Graham argued Biden was scared of making Putin angry and scared of the war escalating.

The Senator also argued that former President Donald Trump would behave more aggressively against Russia to ensure Putin does not choose to escalate the war in Ukraine.

Hannity raised the point of Ukraine asking for MiG fighter jets to combat Russian air power.

"In terms of America's role, why would Joe Biden veto Poland giving MiGs to the Ukrainians so they can fight their own war. That seems like a mistake," Hannity said.

"Because Putin owns Biden," Graham replied.

"Biden is afraid of escalation, he is afraid of making Putin mad.

"As the troops were building up around the Ukraine, Republicans and Democrats said put sanctions on Putin for the provocation of a military build-up, don't wait for the invasion."

Graham also said NATO must be prepared for escalation from Russia in the form of chemical or nuclear weapons.

He also highlighted what he would tell NATO to ensure the military alliance projected an image of strength to Putin.

"There is going to be a NATO summit, here is what I would say to NATO," Graham continued.

"If there is a chemical weapons attack by the Russian military against the Ukrainian people we should impose a no-fly zone immediately because that is breaking all the rules that we have established since World War II.

"If Putin explodes a nuclear weapon inside the Ukraine, the radiation would affect most of Europe and we should consider than an attack on NATO itself."

He added: "With bullies like Putin, if you are not clear, then they will assume you are weak.

"No one assumed Trump was weak. Do you know why Putin didn't invade Ukraine under Trump's watch? Because he didn't think he would get away with it."

Graham continued to praise the former president. During the interview with Hannity he also echoed Trump's claims that he would stand up to Putin.

Speaking to Fox Business on Monday, Trump said if he was still in office the U.S. would be taking more drastic measures against Russia.

"You should say, 'If you mention that word [nuclear] one more time, we're gonna send [nuclear submarines and planes] over and we'll be coasting back and forth, up and down your coast," Trump said.

He also said when he dealt with Putin he would often use the word "nuclear." The former president added he hoped he would never have to use nuclear weapons as "it would be the tragedy of all tragedies."

Newsweek has contacted Lindsey Graham for comment.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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U.S. President Joe Biden, left, speaks during an event at the White House complex on March 18, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Lindsey Graham, right, (R-SC) speaks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 16, 2022 in Washington, DC. While speaking to Sean Hannity on Monday, Graham said Vladimir Putin owns Joe Biden. Win McNamee and Drew Angerer/Getty Images