07/16/2013 08:03 pm ET Updated Jul 17, 2013

Lindsey Graham: Boycott 2014 Olympics If Russia Gives Snowden Asylum

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suggested in an interview with The Hill Tuesday that the United States should boycott the 2014 Olympics if Russia grants asylum to Edward Snowden.

Russia is set to host the games in 2014, in the coastal city of Sochi.

"I would. I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them," in response to a question from the newspaper about whether he would support a boycott.

"At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum it's a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States," Graham told The Hill.

Edward Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, according to his lawyer. The NSA leaker has been holed up in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since he flew in from Hong Kong on June 23.

The U.S. has only boycotted the Olympics once before: during the 1980 Moscow Olympics, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The Soviet Union organized a boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics four years later.

Graham previously wrote to the Russian ambassador to the United States urging the country to turn over Snowden. The South Carolina Senator has also said that he is "glad" that the NSA is collecting phone records -- one of the first major revelations to come from Snowden's leaks.



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