Iranian-American group calls on Graham to apologize for 'disgusting' DNA remark

Iranian-American group calls on Graham to apologize for 'disgusting' DNA remark
© Stefani Reynolds

An Iranian-American group rebuked GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill MORE (S.C.) after he said it would be “terrible” if a DNA test showed he had Iranian ancestry.

Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, blasted Graham’s comment as “disgusting” in a statement.

“If you dread the notion of Iranian ancestry and believe all Iranians are liars, you are hopelessly bigoted and unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate where votes affect tens of millions of Iranians and millions more of Iranian ancestry in the diaspora,” Abdi said.

Graham made the comment on “Fox & Friends” while discussing Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Warren congratulates former student and researcher on election to Congress Illinois New Members 2019 MORE’s (D-Mass.) decision to release the results of a DNA test supporting her claims of Native American ancestry. 

"I'll probably be Iranian. That'd be, like, terrible," Graham said.

Immediately after Graham made the remark, "Fox & Friends" co-host Brain Kilmeade interjected: "Great people, just bad leaders."

"Bad leaders," Graham repeated, laughing.

Abdi in the statement called on Graham to apologize for “his atrocious attempt at a joke."

“The Iranian-American community will not forget such casual racism, nor will it forget which party has enacted policy on the basis of such racism by banning our family members from Iran.”

The comment sparked backlash online, with many calling Graham’s remark racist.

The Hill has reached out to Graham's office for comment.