“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” Graham posted on Twitter, referring to the assassin of Julius Caesar and the attempted assassin of Adolf Hitler, respectively.
“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,” Graham added.
Graham’s tweet comes as Russia and Putin face accusations of committing war crimes; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. officials say the Russian president has been targeting civilian areas such as hospitals and schools.
Graham’s comments quickly drew rebukes on Twitter by Republicans and Democrats, who found it irresponsible for a U.S. official to call for the death of a leader of another country.
“Seriously, wtf?” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted. “I really wish our members of Congress would cool it and regulate their remarks as the administration works to avoid WWlll. 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.”
Fellow GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) also decried Graham’s comments.
“This is an exceptionally bad idea. Use massive economic sanctions; BOYCOTT Russian oil & gas; and provide military aid so the Ukrainians can defend themselves,” Cruz tweeted. “But we should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state.”
Graham continued to say that the Russian people are the only way Putin’s rule ends as thousands of Russians have been arrested for protesting the invasion of Ukraine.
“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do,” Graham said 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 added.