Republican hawk stands by his scandalous call for Russian president to be ‘taken out’ by any means necessary
© AP / Jose Luis Magana
US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is undeterred by the backlash over his suggestion earlier this month that someone should assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, he’s ramping up his violent political rhetoric amid the Ukraine crisis.
“I hope he will be taken out, one way or the other,” Graham told reporters on Wednesday in Washington. “I don’t care how they take him out. I don’t care if we send him to The Hague and try him. I just want him to go.”
Graham confirmed that he sees murdering Putin as a desirable option for removing the Russian president, just as he implied in a March 3 Twitter post in which he asked, “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?”
At the time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced the “hysterical stirring-up” of anti-Russian sentiment in the US, calling it a “Russophobic meltdown” of sorts.
Kremlin reacts to US senator’s call to assassinate Putin
The notoriously hawkish senator confirmed on Wednesday that he was in fact calling for Putin to be assassinated.
“It’s time for him to go,” Graham said of Putin. “He’s a war criminal. I wish somebody had taken Hitler out in the ’30s. So yes, Vladimir Putin is not a legitimate leader. He is a war criminal.”
Russian people are “going to have zero future” if they continue to follow Putin, Graham argued, adding that if the US continues efforts to help Ukraine defend itself while imposing sanctions to “strangle the Russian economy,” forces within Russia will rise up to end the crisis. “I think the world is better off without Putin – the sooner the better, and I don’t care how we do it.”