Cruz knocks Graham’s call to assassinate Putin: ‘An exceptionally bad idea’
Lawmakers, including some Republicans, are slamming a tweet that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) issued on Thursday night where he appeared to be calling for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with one senator calling it “an exceptionally bad idea.”
“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 in a tweet.
“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do,” he continued in another tweet. “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.”
The remarks were immediately knocked by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and several other Republicans.
“This is an exceptionally bad idea. 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,” the Texas senator said in response.
“While we are all praying for peace & for the people of Ukraine, this is irresponsible, dangerous & unhinged,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said in a tweet. “We need leaders with calm minds & steady wisdom. Not blood thirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations. Americans don’t want war.”
Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R), who is running for Congress, called Graham’s statement “Biden-level stupidity and recklessness,” while Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) sarcastically mused, “When has Sen. Graham encouraging regime change ever ended badly?”
The remarks were also condemned by the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Ivanovich.
“I find the statement of American politics unacceptable and outrageous. The degree of Russophobia and hatred in the USA towards Russia is off the charts. It’s unbelievable that a country’s senator preaching his moral values as a ‘guiding star’ to all mankind could afford a call on terrorism as a way to achieve Washington’s goals on the international arena,” he said in response to a question about the tweet.
A spokesperson for Graham said that the lawmakers were entitled to their opinions and referred The Hill to his interview on Fox News on Friday morning.
“The Russian people are not our enemy. I’m convinced it’s a one-man problem surrounded by a few people,” Graham said in response to a question asking him to expand on his tweet.
“But the best way for this to end is having Eliot Ness or Wyatt Earp in Russia — the ‘Russian Spring’ so to speak — where people rise up and take him down because if he continues to be their leader, then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes,” the senator added.
Graham also slammed Ivanovich’s statement.
“Mr. Ambassador, you’re supporting a war criminal in Putin. Your country’s engaged in war crimes in front of the entire world. You’re bombing innocent civilians using banned munitions,” he said.