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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 GrahamClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Spokesperson says Tennessee Democrat made 'poor analogy' in saying South Carolina voters have extra chromosome 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.

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Graham made the comment on “Fox & Friends” while discussing Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach No, the government cannot seize, break or 'bypass' pharmaceutical patents — even for COVID-19 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."

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“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.