U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday, March 3, called for “removing” Russian President Vladimir Putin amid Russia’s war against Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The South Carolina Republican senator hinted that assassinating the Russian president would be the only way to end the crisis over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during Sean Hannity’s March 3 show on Fox News, and later repeated the comment in a tweet.
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? 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 said on Twitter.
When Graham mentioned Brutus he was making references to Marcus Junius Brutus, one of the assassins of Roman ruler Julius Caesar. While he alluded to the German officer whose bomb failed to kill Adolf Hitler when he named Stauffenberg.
Later in another tweet he added “The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. 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.”
But the senator’s comments were not well received in both parties, and criticism was not long in coming.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said, “This is an exceptionally bad idea.” Sanctions and boycotts of Russian oil and gas are solutions, along with military aid for the Ukrainians, Cruz said. “But we should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state,” he added in a tweet responding to Graham’s comment.
Meanwhile, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called the senator’s opinion irresponsible, dangerous and unhinged.
She wrote on Twitter, “While we are all praying for peace & for the people of Ukraine, this is irresponsible, dangerous & unhinged.”
“We need leaders with calm minds & steady wisdom. Not blood thirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations,” he continued. “Americans don’t want war.”
Washington Times columnist and comedian Tim Young noted that “Resign Now” is trending on Twitter, claiming that the senator “got a couple of cosmos in him at happy hour and decided to start threatening world leaders.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov sharply criticized the Republican senator’s remark. He told reporters on Friday that “”unfortunately, in such an extremely tense atmosphere, and even more so in countries like the United States, an attack of hysterical Russophobia is being whipped up.”
“These days, not everyone manages to keep a sober mind, I would even say a sane mind. Many, unfortunately, are losing their minds,” he added, the WSJ reported.