(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is urging Russians to "take out" their president. He said it twice in a Thursday night interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity:
"The only way this ends, my friend, is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country a great service and the world a great service," Graham said the first time.
Later, he repeated: "I'm begging you in Russia, unless you want to live in darkness the rest of your life, be isolated from the world, be in abject poverty, you need to step up to the plate and take this guy out."
Graham spoke shortly after news broke about the Russian shelling of a Ukraine nuclear plant, the largest one in Europe, which Graham described as "a war crime unfolding in front of us."
"So here's the state of play,” Graham said:
“If Joe Manchin's bill were put on the floor of the United States senate banning Russian oil coming into the United States, increasing American production to make up for the shortfall, it would get 75 votes.
"Here's the problem. The Biden administration is to the left of the German green party and to the left of Nancy Pelosi. That's our basic problem. You can talk about this until you fall over. Here's the problem. They didn't do this on Trump's watch, Russia, because Trump would have kicked their ass.
"What's happened is that Putin looks at Biden, he sized him up, he thinks he can get away with it, and he's going to keep going and going and going, and nobody in the West is going to stop him. How does this end? Somebody in Russia has to step up to the plate. Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?
"The only way this ends, my friend, is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country a great service and the world a great service."
Graham said he agrees "one hundred percent" that American troops should not fight in Ukraine. "This is up to Russia to fix," he said.
Graham is among the 18 senators who on Thursday introduced a bill directing the president to cut off Russian oil imports.
"The Russian oil and gas sector is the fuel for the Russian war machine," he said.
"But I'm here to tell you, Sean, you can take this to the bank. If there were a vote in the Senate tomorrow to cut off Russian imports to the United States and increase American production of oil and gas, it would get 75 votes. The reason we're not doing that is Joe Biden is holding us back.
"The reason Putin invaded is he sees Biden as weak. The reason he didn't do this on Trump's watch is because he was afraid of him, and the only people that can fix this are the Russian people. Easy to say, hard to do, but I'm begging you in Russia, unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the world, be in abject poverty, you need to step up to the plate and take this guy out."
Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday the United States should stop buying Russian oil, although she also said she opposes drilling on federal lands.
"Pelosi is willing to shut off all gas imports into the United States from Russia," Graham said. "The only people stopping this is President Biden. His people are under the thumb of the most radical folks on the planet, not just in America, but on the frigging planet."