Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suggested Thursday that someone in Russia should assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine.
What did Graham say?
Speaking with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Graham called on someone in Russia to rise up and kill Putin, who Graham claimed is emboldened by President Joe Biden's weakness.
"How does this end? Somebody in Russia has to step up to the plate," Graham said.
"Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this sh*t ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out," Graham continued. "You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service."
Graham repeated his remarks on Twitter and explained that killing Putin is paramount for Russia's 144 million citizens because their country will be isolated from the rest of world with Putin at the helm.
"The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do," Graham said. "Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness you need to step up to the plate."
The suggestion was immediately condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike, some of whom called on Graham to resign.
- "This is an exceptionally bad idea. Use massive economic sanctions; BOYCOTT Russian oil & gas; and provide military aid so the Ukrainians can defend themselves. But we should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.
- "Seriously, wtf? I really wish our members of Congress would cool it and regulate their remarks as the administration works to avoid WWlll. As the world pays attention to how the US and it’s leaders are responding, Lindsey’s remarks and remarks made by some House members aren’t helpful," Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said.
- "Honestly gobsmacked at how reckless that Lindsey Graham tweet is," MSNBC host Chris Hayes said.
- "Lindsey should resign over this. The most disgracefully irresponsible US senator in a long time," writer Sohrab Ahmari said.
- "One of the craziest things he’s ever blurted out, and that’s really saying something," liberal journalist Michael Tracey said.
- "Won’t take long before Russia uses this tweet for propaganda…," conservative Kassy Dillon observed.
- "Are you TRYING to cause escalation? Now Putin can say 'one of the most senior U.S. Senators has called for my assassination.' Why would you want to help him? This war is causing some who know better to lose their minds," CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen said.
Even Chinese propagandists seized on Graham's remarks.
"This senator is declaring a war on Russia," said Beijing mouthpiece Hu Xijin. "If such hysteria is not stopped, it will lead to direct military confrontation between Russia and the US. @LindseyGrahamSC should know these are two big nuclear powers."