‘That’s garbage’: Graham slams Vance’s Ukraine math, challenges him to visit

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threw down the gauntlet Sunday, challenging his Republican colleague Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) to take a trip to Ukraine and calling on him to “quit talking about things you don’t know anything about until you go.”

In a New York Times op-ed earlier this month, Vance argued that Ukraine lacks the manpower it needs to successfully push Russia out of Ukrainian territory. Ukraine “needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies,” Vance wrote, and it “needs more matériel than the United States can provide.”

Not so, Graham said Sunday during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“That is garbage,” Graham told host Shannon Bream. “I just got back from being there two weeks ago. They changed their conscription laws. They have all the manpower they need. They need the weapons.”

“I challenge J.D. Vance to go to Ukraine and get a briefing from the Ukrainian military and talk with Ukrainian people, then tell me what you think. … We’re going back, you’re welcome to come,” he added.

Failure to defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Ukraine front poses a greater risk to American interests, and could force the U.S. to send troops to the region if Putin decides to extend his invasion beyond Ukrainian borders.

Graham, a longtime Russia hawk and one of the staunchest Republican supporters of Ukraine in the Senate, has found himself at odds with more conservative members of his own party as the conflict has dragged on. Vance, meanwhile, has fashioned himself into one of the chief threats to Ukraine aid legislation in the Senate.

“If you want American military members to stay out of the fight with Russia, help Ukraine. If they go into a NATO nation, we’re in a fight,” Graham said.