A sitting United States senator thought it was a good idea on Thursday night to explicitly call for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During an appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s primetime program, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared that the only way to end the escalating crisis caused by Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine is if Putin's political allies killed the Russian dictator.
“What happens is that Putin looks at Biden, he sized him up, he thinks he can get away with it, and he’s going to keep going and going and going, and nobody in the West is going to stop him,” Graham exclaimed.
The South Carolina lawmaker then referenced both the betrayal of Julius Ceaser and the failed German attempt to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944.
“How does this end? Somebody in Russia has to step up to the plate,” Graham told Hannity, who had also pondered a Putin assassination plot night before. “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there more successful Col. Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends, my friend, is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out! You would be doing your country a great service and the world a great service.”
Notably, Graham’s eyebrow-raising remarks came as Fox News rolled footage of the fire set at a huge Ukrainian nuclear plant following shelling by an armored Russian column. The station’s director, thankfully, later said that the facility’s radiation safety had been secured and there was currently no threat of nuclear disaster.
Moments after his appearance on Hannity’s show, Graham decided to tweet out the same demands for someone in Russia to kill Putin, once again claiming this was the best way to stop the war.
“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people,” the pro-Trump senator added in a subsequent tweet. “Easy to say, hard to do. 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.’
Graham’s remarks were quickly met with criticism that spanned the political spectrum. For News host Laura Ingraham, while noting that she “likes Lindsey Graham,” said on Thursday night that “it seems really dangerous and stupid” for the senator to tweet out an assassination threat.
A Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Friday morning that Graham’s posts did not violate the platform’s rules against violent threats and incitement of physical harm. Therefore, no action will be taken against the tweets.