U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has a suggestion to the next president: Don’t send emails.
“In all seriousness, the enemies of this nation are trying to penetrate at every level,” Graham said during a campaign stop Tuesday in Columbia for his 2016 Republican presidential bid. “I would advise the next president of the United States never to send an email, because the enemies are watching us. They are monitoring White House. We’ve had thousands of Americans’ data compromised. The Department of Defense is under constant attack.”
The Seneca Republican has bragged about never sending an email — even since swapping his flip phone for an iPhone last month when 2016 rival Donald Trump revealed the senator’s cell phone number during a Bluffton campaign stop.
(Graham’s iPhone rang during the news conference at the S.C. Military Museum on Tuesday. He said it was his friend, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona. Graham silenced the ring and continued with his answer.)
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Graham said the threat of cyberattacks is why investigations are needed of a private email server that 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton used while she was secretary of state.
“Did she compromise our national security by using a system set up for her and her only?” he asked during the news conference to introduce his national security coalition of retired S.C. military leaders.
Graham said, if he is elected president, he would punish the Chinese and Russian governments for cyberattacks on U.S. government and business websites.
The noted defense hawk said he would change China’s “trading relationship that you enjoy today with America” but did not offer details.
As for Russia, Graham used a poker comparison.
“We have had it with you. We’re literally going to reset the table with Russia,” he said. “They’re a small country with a pair of 2s. We’re a big nation with a full house. When it comes to playing cards with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, we’re going to play the game differently.”