Speaker John A. Boehner thinks Sen. Lindsey Graham was “dead wrong” saying that the United States should boycott the Olympics if Russia grants asylum to Edward Snowden.
At a weekly news conference with House Republican leaders, Boehner was asked if he agreed with the South Carolina Republican’s notion that the United States should not participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, if the Kremlin agrees to the asylum request from the former federal contractor who leaked classified information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance and data collection programs.
“I love Sen. Graham, we’ve been close friends for 20 years,” Boehner said. “But I think he’s dead wrong.”
“Why would we want to punish U.S. athletes who’ve been training for three years to compete in the Olympics over a traitor who can’t find a place to call home?” the Ohio Republican asked.
On Monday, Graham said he would support a boycott to send Russia “the most unequivocal signal I could send” that granting asylum to Snowden is unacceptable, according to The Hill.
Snowden is currently holed up in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport trying to find a place to call home. The NSA leaker filed for asylum in Russia on Monday night.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in the past he will not extradite Snowden to the United States, but will not grant him asylum.