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 GrahamSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Key Democrat opposes GOP Section 230 subpoena for Facebook, Twitter, Google 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Graham made the comment on “Fox & Friends” while discussing Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service 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."

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.