Graham draws criticism for assassination comment; introduces war crime resolution

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) attracted near-universal scorn Thursday when he advocated for a Russian citizen to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin. He then spent Friday doubling down on his remarks and introducing a new resolution that would treat Putin as a war criminal.

Friday, Graham told “Fox and Friends” Putin was “destroying Russia and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.” Later he appeared on “Hannity” and dug in further. 

“It’s clear to me the world would be better off if the Russian people took Putin out tonight,” Graham said. “The war in Ukraine would end and Russia would have freedom they don’t enjoy today. A steel curtain has descended upon the Russian people. What does that tell me? That Putin is afraid of his own people.”

In a surreal moment, firebrands from both the Republican and Democrat Party joined a chorus of voices either rebuking Graham or asking him to tone things down following his Thursday tweet.

“Is there a Brutus in Russia,” Graham tweeted. “Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? 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,” Graham tweeted Thursday evening. “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.”

An unlikely collection of legislators, ranging from Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others, all reacted with derision.

“This is an exceptionally bad idea,” Cruz tweeted. “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.”

Omar’s Twitter feed contains, “I really wish our members of Congress would cool it and regulate their remarks as the administration works to avoid WWIII. As the world pays attention to how the US and [its] leaders are responding, Lindsey’s remarks and remarks made by some House members aren’t helpful.”

Graham might have lacked support for his assassination comment, but his Senate bill was rolled out with sizable bipartisan support. Eighteen senators – nine Republicans, eight democrats, and one independent – were listed as cosignatories.

“It is already obvious to any observer that the wanton assaults on residential buildings, schools, synagogues and churches in various cities across Ukraine suggest that war crimes are being committed by the Russian military on the orders of Vladimir Putin,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md., one of the cosignatories, said. “An immediate start to investigations by the International Criminal Court is appropriate and necessary, as this bipartisan resolution makes clear.”

Graham’s resolution would condemn Russia and Putin for ongoing violence in Ukraine and encourage the U.S. to use its power to investigate and, if necessary, punish Putin and other top Russian leaders.