Graham issued the statement in a tweet on Thursday night, garnering strong responses from others in his party and from the Russian Ambassador to the US.

In a follow up tweet, Graham continued, “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.”

The responses were immediate and fierce.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded, “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.”

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), often controversial herself, also took the time to tweet back. “While we are all praying for peace & for the people of Ukraine, this is irresponsible, dangerous & unhinged,” she said. “We need leaders with calm minds & steady wisdom. Not blood thirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations. Americans don’t want war.”

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) took a somewhat more pointed approach, asking, “When has Sen. Graham encouraging regime change ever ended badly?”

Grahams remarks also caught the attention of the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Ivanovich. “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,” he said after being asked about the tweet.

Graham’s spokesperson reiterated that lawmakers, including Graham, are entitled to their opinions.

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