Graham: Check Soccer Ball for Listening Devices, Don’t Let It in the White House

Russia's President Vladimir Putin offers a ball of the 2018 World Cup to President Donald Trump / Getty Images

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) recommended the soccer ball Russian President Vladimir Putin gave to President Donald Trump be checked for listening devices and never be allowed in the White House.

In the midst of their joint press conference in Helsinki, Putin alluded to his country's hosting of the recently concluded World Cup and gave Trump an official soccer ball from the tournament.

"Now the ball is in your court," Putin quipped.

Trump thanked him for the ball and bounced it to First Lady Melania Trump, saying they would give it to their son, Barron.

Graham tweeted "If it were me, I'd check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House."

Graham was also critical of Trump for his rhetoric at the press conference, writing, "Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections. This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves."

"It is imperative that Congress hold hearings on the extent and scope of any cooperation with Russia in Syria regarding Iran’s presence," he added.

The top U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump, and the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian government agents on Friday for hacking the Democratic Party.

Trump said he addressed election meddling during their private meeting and said Putin was "extremely strong" in his denial.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," he said.

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