Lindsey Graham Doubles Down On Calls For Putin’s Assassination
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, speaks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham doubled down on Friday morning after calling for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

Graham shared the remarks on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” to address his comments made on the network Thursday night.

“The Russian people are not our enemy. I’m convinced it’s a one-man problem,” Graham said during the interview.

“How does this end? We’re not going in on the ground on the Ukraine. If he attacks a NATO nation we’ll have World War III. I don’t think he’ll do that. The way this will end is when he gets charged with a war crime, Putin and his cronies, and one day we nab him when he leaves Russia,” the senator continued.

“But the best way for this to end is to have an Elliott Ness, a Wyatt Earp in Russia, the Russian Spring so to speak, where people rise up and take him down because if he continues to be their leader then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes,” he added.

Graham also restated his call for Putin’s removal from office “by any means possible.”

“I’m hoping that somebody in Russia will understand that he’s destroying Russia and you need to take this guy out by any means possible,” Graham noted once again, alluding to a potential assassination by someone in Russia.

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., reacted strongly against Graham’s Thursday remarks.

“I find the statement of the American politician to be unacceptable and outrageous,” he said in a statement, according to the Fox News report.

“It is impossible to believe that a senator of a country that promotes its moral values as a ‘guiding star’ for all mankind could afford to call for terrorism as a way to achieve Washington’s goals in the international arena,” he added. “We demand official explanations and a strong condemnation of the criminal statements of this American.”

Graham first made the provocative call against Putin on Twitter prior to sharing the comments on Fox News Thursday evening.

“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” Graham tweeted, referring to Julius Caesar’s assassin and the Nazi officer who tried to kill Hitler. “The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service.”

“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people,” he wrote in a second tweet. “Easy to say, hard to do. 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.”

Graham’s comments have led to quick pushback from leaders of both political parties.

“This is an exceptionally bad idea,” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said. “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.”

“Seriously, wtf?” Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted.