Lindsey Graham Says Ukraine War Won't End Unless Russians Take Out Putin

The Republican senator offered his not-so-diplomatic take as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Washington.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Wednesday that Russia’s war against Ukraine will not end unless Russian President Vladimir Putin is taken out.

Graham, who has a long history of pushing for foreign intervention and was met with outcry for his previous call for Putin’s assassination, made his comments on Fox News the day that Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met with President Joe Biden and gave an impassioned speech to a joint session of Congress.

“How does this war end?” Graham said. “When Russia breaks and they take Putin out. Anything short of that, the war’s gonna continue. To ask the Ukrainians to give Russia part of their country after all this death and destruction is not gonna happen. To signal a ceasefire, Russia will take the opportunity to rearm and come at them again. So, we’re in it to win it and the only way you’re gonna win it is to break the Russian military and have somebody in Russia take Putin out to give the Russian people a new lease on life.”

Zelenskyy asked for continued U.S. aid for the fight against Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February.

“We have artillery. Is it enough? Honestly, not really... Your money is not charity. It’s an investment in global security and diplomacy that we handle in the most responsible way,” Zeleneksyy said during his address to Congress. “Your well-being is the product of your national security, the result of your struggle for independence and your many victories. We Ukrainians will also go through our war of independence and freedom with dignity and success.”

Graham’s view is not a consensus one. After he called for Putin to be assassinated in March, the then-White House press secretary said “that is not the position of the United States government and certainly not a statement you’d hear come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration,” according to NPR.

Other Republicans also called out Graham at the time, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) calling it an “exceptionally bad idea.”

Vocal far-right politicians such as Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) have opposed the billions in aid sent to Ukraine, and conservative personalities like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump Jr. have taken to insulting Zelenskyy.

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