Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday night fired off a tweet so irresponsible that it united Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Graham wrote that the “only” way out of the crisis in eastern Europe is for Russians to assassinate President Vladimir Putin.
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” he asked, referring to the Roman politician who helped assassinate Julius Caesar, and to the German military officer who tried to kill Adolf Hitler. “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.”
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The senator addressed the Russian people in a follow-up 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,” he wrote.
Responses from fellow lawmakers from both parties have followed a similar theme: Don’t be stupid and start a world war.
“I really wish our members of Congress would cool it and regulate their remarks as the administration works to avoid WWlll,” Rep. Omar tweeted. “As the world pays attention to how the US and it’s leaders are responding, Lindsey’s remarks and remarks made by some House members aren’t helpful.”
“We need leaders with calm minds & steady wisdom,” wrote Rep. Greene. “Not blood thirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), meanwhile, asked sarcastically, “When has Sen. Graham encouraging regime change ever ended badly?”
Sen. Ted Cruz, maybe the only Republican senator who gets dunked on more than Graham, chimed in, as well. “This is an exceptionally bad idea,” he wrote. “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.”
A spokesman for Graham told the Washington Post that the senator “also expressed he was okay with a coup to remove” the Russian president, but there’s no mistaking that he called for Putin to be assassinated.
Graham initially called for Putin’s assassination on Hannity before tweeting about it Thursday night. He defended himself Friday morning on Fox & Friends, arguing that Putin is “destroying Russia and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.”
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