Lindsey Graham dishes on Trump in hoax calls with Russians

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talks on the phone as he rides the escalator on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, as he heads to a briefing on election security. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has in the last year become something of a congressional point man for President Donald Trump’s negotiations with Turkey, leading discussions on everything from Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile system over the summer to their more recent incursion into northern Syria.

So when he received a call from a man he thought was Turkey’s minister of defense earlier in August, it didn’t strike him as unusual. “Thank you so much for calling me, Mr. Minister,” Graham said. “I want to make this a win-win, if we can.” But it wasn’t the Turkish defense minister at all. Instead, it was Alexey Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov, Russian pranksters with suspected ties to the country’s intelligence services who go by “Lexus and Vovan.” For the rest of the story, read here: