Lindsey Graham just tripled down on his initial March 3rd "Brutus in Russia" comments to Fox News in which he suggested that Putin had to go, and that someone in Russia should "step up to the plate" and "take this guy out."
After doubling down the following day, telling Fox, "I'm hoping somebody in Russia will understand that he is destroying Russia, and you need to take this guy out by any means possible," he again suggested a Putin assassination during a press conference on Capitol Hill today.
"Yeah, I hope he'll be taken out, one way or the other. I don't care how they take him out," he said, which was recorded on C-Span. "I just want him to go. Yes, I'm on record. … It's time for him to go. He's a war criminal. I wish somebody had taken Hitler out in the '30s. … I am asking the Russian people to rise up and end this reign of terror … So I think the world is better off without Putin, the sooner the better, and I don't care how we do it."
Graham made these more recent comments after his second round of assassination remarks that were made on March 4th received plenty of outcry from politicians on both sides of the fence.
From The Guardian:
American lawmakers of both parties responded to Graham's comments with shock, dismay and outrage, pointing out the danger in demanding the assassination of a leader whose troops are currently engaged in shelling nuclear plants.
"I really wish our members of Congress would cool it and regulate their remarks as the administration works to avoid [a third world war]," the progressive congresswoman Ilhan Omar said in a tweet. "As the world pays attention to how the US and [its] leaders are responding, Lindsey's remarks and remarks made by some House members aren't helpful."
The Democratic senator Brian Schatz added, "I have seen at least a half a dozen insane tweets tonight. Please everyone keep your wits about you."
Republican members of Congress were no less critical, as Senator Ted Cruz derided Graham's suggestion as "an exceptionally bad idea". "Use massive economic sanctions; BOYCOTT Russian oil [and] gas; and provide military aid so the Ukrainians can defend themselves," Cruz said. "But we should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state."Advertisement
Even Marjorie Taylor Greene – the extremist congresswoman who has sparked outrage for, among other things, comparing coronavirus-related restrictions to the treatment of Jewish people during the Holocaust – chimed in from the right with criticism of Graham.
"While we are all praying for peace [and] for the people of Ukraine, this is irresponsible, dangerous [and] unhinged. We need leaders with calm minds [and] steady wisdom," Greene said on Twitter. "Not blood thirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations. Americans don't want war." …
At the daily White House media briefing, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said: "We are not advocating for killing the leader of a foreign country or regime change. That is not the policy of the United States."