On Putin, Lindsey Graham Calls for Russian ‘Brutus’ to ‘Take this Guy Out’

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister after their meeting at the Kremlin in the Moscow on February 1, 2022. (Photo by YURI KOCHETKOV / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YURI KOCHETKOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
YURI KOCHETKOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) employed extreme regime change rhetoric on Thursday when he called for a Russian “Brutus” to “take this guy out” in reference to Vladimir Putin.

“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,” tweeted Graham. “You would be doing your country–and the world–a great service.”

Graham then called upon the Russian people to rise up against Putin, lest they should “live in darkness” for the rest of their lives.

“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do,” he continued. “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.”

Brutus was a reference to Marcus Brutus from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, a friend and confidante of the Roman emperor who colluded with Cassius to assassinate him. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg led the failed assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

Graham’s possible allusion to an assassination attempt against Putin followed a now-deleted tweet from former Obama Russian Ambassador Paul McFaul, who said there are no “innocent” Russians if they do not rise up.

“There are no more ‘innocent’ ‘neutral’ Russians anymore,” tweeted McFaul. “Everyone has to make a choice— support or oppose this war. The only way to end this war is if 100,000s, not thousands, protest against this senseless war. Putin can’t arrest you all!”

Lindsey Graham’s comments come just one day after he offered the U.S. Senate measures to investigate  Vladimir Putin for war crimes.

“What I’m doing today … is introducing a resolution supporting the complaint filed by the Ukrainian government,” Graham said. “This is a good example of where the International Criminal Court should exercise jurisdiction … I want the Senate to vote and speak with one voice in support of this complaint.”

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