Graham’s push to kill Putin ‘not the position of the US’: Psaki

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Graham’s push to kill Putin ‘not the position of the US': Psaki

The White House distanced President Biden on Friday from Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposal that someone in the Russian government assassinate President Vladimir Putin, saying “that is not the position of the United States government.”

Press secretary Jen Psaki emphasized the administration position during the daily press briefing after she was pressed on whether the White House considered the South Carolina republican’s proposal to be “helpful.”

“That is not the position of the United States government. And certainly not a statement you’d hear from – come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration,” she said.

Psaki’s comments came just hours after the Republican senator doubled down on his remarks Friday morning, saying Russia needs “to take this guy out by any means possible.”

“If [Putin] continues to be their leader, then he’s going to make you complicit with war crimes,” Graham said, addressing the Russian people. “You’re a good people, you’ll never have a future, you’ll be isolated from the world, and you’ll live in abject poverty.

“So I’m hoping somebody in Russia will understand that he’s destroying Russia, and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.”


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with The Post’s live coverage.


Thursday evening, Graham issued his first call for the end of Putin on Twitter saying, “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.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
White House Press secretary Jen Psaki argued the Biden administration is in no “position” to plot an assassiantion attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
EPA/Chris Kleponis/ABACA/POOL

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

“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people,” Graham added in a second post. “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 initial post was referring to Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a suitcase bomb during a Nazi council of war on July 21, 1944.

Russian President Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham advised Russians to assassinate Vladimir Putin.
Russian Look via ZUMA Press Wire

While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle slammed the senator for his comments, Russian envoy Anatoly Antonov responded Friday morning, accusing the US of “Russophobia.”

“The degree of Russophobia and hatred in the United States towards Russia is off the scale. It is impossible to believe that a senator of a country that promotes its moral values as a ‘guiding star’ for all mankind could afford to call for terrorism as a way to achieve Washington’s goals in the international arena.

“It becomes scary for the US’ fate, which is run by such irresponsible and unprofessional politicians,” Antonov added. “We demand official explanations and a strong condemnation of the criminal statements of this American.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
The Russian government claimed Sen. Lindsey Graham is spewing “Russophobia and hatred.”
AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

Graham responded to Antonov not long after and accused the Russian envoy of “supporting a war criminal.”

“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. You have a record, your country does, of dropping barrel bombs in Syria,” Graham said.

“You’ve destroyed Chechnya by massive war crimes. You’re committing war crimes in the Ukraine. You need to apologize to the world for how Putin has stolen your country blind, how they’re dismembering a neighboring democracy called the Ukraine, how they’re killing innocent men, women and children … You, my friend, are the one who needs to apologize and when it comes to Putin, he should go to jail.”

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