Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has fired back at his Republican colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) after the South Carolina lawmaker called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be assassinated.
In comments earlier this week, Graham called on the people of Russia to either kill or overthrow Putin to end the Russian invasion.
The comments have triggered a widespread backlash from Russia and lawmakers from all sides.
“This is an exceptionally bad idea,” Sen. Cruz said.
“Use massive economic sanctions; BOYCOTT Russian oil & gas; and provide military aid so the Ukrainians can defend themselves.
“But we should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state.”
Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R), who is running for Congress, said “Biden-level stupidity and recklessness.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sarcastically mused, “When has Sen. Graham encouraging regime change ever ended badly?”
Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Ivanovich said:
“I find the statement of American politics unacceptable and outrageous.
“The degree of Russophobia and hatred in the USA towards Russia is off the charts.
“It’s unbelievable that a country’s senator preaching his moral values as a ‘guiding star’ to all mankind could afford a call on terrorism as a way to achieve Washington’s goals on the international arena.”
Graham said: “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?
“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.
“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people.
“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.”
Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said: “Unfortunately, in such an extremely tense atmosphere, there is a hysterical escalation of Russophobia.
“These days, not everyone manages to maintain sobriety, I would even say sanity, and many lose their mind.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also weighed, saying: “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 its leaders are responding, Lindsey’s remarks and remarks made by some House members aren’t helpful.”
Graham fired back at his critics, later saying: “But the best way for this to end is having Eliot Ness or Wyatt Earp in Russia — the ‘Russian Spring’ so to speak — where people rise up and take him down because if he continues to be their leader, then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes.”
Graham told Ivanovich:
“Mr. Ambassador, you’re supporting a war criminal in Putin.
“Your country’s engaged in war crimes in front of the entire world.
“You’re bombing innocent civilians using banned munitions.”
This is an exceptionally bad idea.
Use massive economic sanctions; BOYCOTT Russian oil & gas; and provide military aid so the Ukrainians can defend themselves.
But we should not be calling for the assassination of heads of state. https://t.co/crPGHw9xyJ
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 4, 2022
Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?
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.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 4, 2022