Lindsey Graham wants the US to consider boycotting next year’s Olympics in Russia because of Edward Snowden

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is urging the U.S. to consider boycotting next year’s Olympics in Russia if the country grants asylum to NSA leak source Edward Snowden, saying it would put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a pair of interviews and later on his Twitter feed, Graham said he hates “what the Russian government is doing throughout the world.” 

Russia is hosting next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, from March 7-16. Undoubtedly, there are still numerous developments that stand to happen in the Snowden saga between now and then.

Snowden officially applied for asylum in Russia on Tuesday, in a rather colloquial, handwritten note to the Russian Federal Migration Service. BBC reported Wednesday that Snowden could seek to apply for Russian citizenship.

Already thorny over differing opinions on the conflict in Syrian, U.S.-Russian relations have further cooled amid the Snowden situation. He has remained in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport’s transit zone since March 23, when he fled from Hong Kong. 

The U.S., of course, infamously boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union responded by boycotting the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Graham’s position seems far from gaining universal acclaim. Already, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that anyone advocating a boycott is “dead wrong,” saying it would unfairly punish athletes.

Here are Graham’s thoughts on the matter, via his Twitter feed:


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