WASHINGTON – South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is facing brutal repression from all over Washington after calling on the Russian people to end the war in Ukraine by assassinating President Vladimir Putin. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday that this “is not the position of the United States government.”
Graham, a former Air Force lawyer and longtime defense hawk, wrote Thursday night that “the only people who can fix this are the Russians.”
“The only way this will end is for someone in Russia to take this guy out,” Graham tweeted. “You would do a great service to your country and to the world.”
The tweet provoked a quick backlash from some of the most conservative and liberal members of Congress. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz called it “an exceptionally bad idea.” Rep. Georgia Marjorie Taylor Green, Republican who was convicted This week, Graham’s tweet was “irresponsible, dangerous and infallible” for speaking at an event organized by a white nationalist. And Minnesota MP Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who faced criticism for the comments about Israel wrote on Twitter: “Seriously, wtf?”
On Friday, Psaki pushed Graham’s idea out of control.
“This is not a position of the United States government and certainly not a statement you would hear from anyone who works in this administration,” she said.
Graham’s comment comes at a difficult time for the White House, which is staging a harsh Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, trying to avoid a direct confrontation with Russia for fear of starting a wider war. The Russian president’s raising the level of readiness for his country’s nuclear weapons has raised fears that he may be ready to consider an unimaginable step towards its use.
The United States has ruled out sending troops to Ukraine and has not agreed to a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which could lead to clashes with Russian warplanes.
Without stopping in the war, the White House has asked Congress for $ 10 billion in emergency funding, with the money going to humanitarian aid and security needs. Approval may come as early as next week. Lawmakers are also pushing the Biden administration to do so stop oil imports from Russia, a move that could increase pressure on the country’s increasingly isolated economy.
But Graham alone encourages an assassination attempt on Putin. Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, called his comments “unacceptable and outrageous.”
On Friday morning on Fox News, Graham was rebellious, saying that the best way to end the fighting is to have “Eliot Ness or Wyatt Earp” in Russia, citing legendary US law enforcement officials.
“I’m convinced it’s a problem of one person surrounded by several people,” Graham said.
Also Friday, Graham unveiled a resolution with Democratic senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Holen calling for Putin to be held accountable for his actions in Ukraine, including the investigation of war crimes.
Associated Press writer Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report.
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