Graham rips Vance’s Ukraine position, challenges him to visit country

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday slammed Sen. JD Vance’s (R-Ohio) firm opposition to giving more aid to Ukraine, challenging the Ohio Republican to take a trip to the war-torn country before he speaks on the issue.

Vance, in an op-ed for The New York Times last week, argued that even if Congress passes another aid package for Ukraine, it will not change the course of a war Vance believes Ukraine cannot win.

He rejected President Biden and Democrats’ claims that the GOP is preventing Ukraine from defeating Russia, writing, “Ukraine’s challenge is not the GOP; it’s math. Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide.”

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” about Vance’s comments regarding manpower, Graham said, “That is garbage.”

“Go … I just got back, I was there two weeks ago. They changed their conscription laws. They have all the manpower they need. They need the weapons,” he continued. “It’s one thing to talk about Ukraine over here; it’s another thing to go.”

“I challenge JD Vance to go to Ukraine and get a briefing from the Ukrainian military and talk to the Ukrainian people. Then tell me what you think,” he added.

Graham is one of the most vocal GOP supporters of Ukraine, repeatedly warning of the long-term ramifications of a win for Russia in Europe and other parts of the West. This has put Graham in a tricky position within his conference as some from the right flank insist on stopping further funds from going to Kyiv.

Vance is among those who are against additional Ukraine aid, arguing lawmakers should be focused on putting funding toward the U.S. southern border.

“Well, if you want American military members to stay out of the fight with Russia, help Ukraine. If they go into a NATO nation, Russia, we’re in a fight,” Graham added. “So, with all due respect to Senator Vance, he’s wrong. We were told, within four days, Kyiv would fall.”

The Senate is preparing to take up the House’s foreign aid bill, which passed Saturday in a bipartisan vote after months of stalemate. It includes about $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel and $8 billion for allies in the Indo-Pacific. It also includes a package of other national security measures, among those a potential ban on the TikTok app.

The Senate is expected to pass the legislation in the middle of next week.

The Hill reached out to Vance’s office for comment.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.