Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took his hawkishness to a new level on Thursday and openly called for someone inside Russia to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” Graham wrote on Twitter. “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 received bipartisan pushback for his comments. Even Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a Russia hawk himself, who’s calling for a boycott of Russian gas, called Graham’s suggestion an “exceptionally bad idea.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) slammed Graham as a “blood thirsty warmongering politician.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said calls for Putin to be killed “aren’t helpful” as the Biden administration is working to “avoid World War III.”
The White House responded to Graham’s call and said that regime change in Russia is not the US’s current policy. “We are not advocating for killing the leader of a foreign country or regime change. That is not the policy of the United States,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Russia said Graham’s comments were an example of hysterical “Russophobia” in the US. “Unfortunately, in such an extremely tense atmosphere, there is a hysterical escalation of Russophobia,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov. “These days, not everyone manages to maintain sobriety, I would even say sanity, and many lose their mind.”