United States’ GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham’s remarks, suggesting that Russians should “assassinate President Vladimir Putin” on Friday attracted widespread ire and criticism of both Republicans and Democrats as Russian forces intensified their assaults in Ukraine. "Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?" the South Carolina Republican had tweeted. He then appeared to call for the assassination of Putin as he noted that the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and others in the Rome Senate on the Ides of March. The US senator also reminded that German Lt. Col. Claus von Stauffenberg had also tried to kill Adolf Hitler in the summer of 1944.
"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 said in the tweet.
Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 4, 2022
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.
As Graham’s remarks created a stir, Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, during White House news briefing on Friday afternoon dismissed such calls, stating, "That is not the position of the United States government.” Psaki further told reporters that such a statement “is certainly not what you'd hear come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration.” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas also condemned Sen. Lindsey Graham’s remarks that they suggested might worsen the conflict. "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,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
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.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 4, 2022
"This is an exceptionally bad idea,” Cruz meanwhile wrote in a separate tweet. "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,” he went on to add. As Graham made similar remarks on television this week, he was reminded that such acts are against what the United States would suggest. It is forbidden by the Lieber Code, drafted by the former President Abraham Lincoln as a general order for US forces in 1863.
America needs to boycott Russian oil and natural gas.— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 4, 2022
We need to hit Putin where it hurts: his energy sales. pic.twitter.com/WlqUHHFygm
Graham’s comments are also in breach of Section IX of the code that forbids such a declaration from the member of a hostile force, or a citizen or any subject of a hostile government to call for an opponent to be slain without trial. The international conventions on warfare state that nations “look with horror upon offers of rewards for the assassination of enemies as relapses into barbarism.” In response to US Senator’s remarks, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office issued a statement outlining that the British Prime Minister “believes Putin should be held responsible for any war crimes committed by International Criminal Court."