Lindsey Graham says the US should shoot down Russian fighter jets in response to Russia downing a US drone
Sen. Lindsey Graham says that Russia should be "held accountable" for downing a US military drone.
Graham said on Fox News that Russian planes should be shot if they approach US military assets.
Last year, he called for a "Brutus in Russia" to assassinate Vladimir Putin, Julius Caesar-style.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says Russia should be "held accountable" for the destruction of a US military drone.
Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday, Graham said the US should gun down Russian planes in retaliation.
"If you ever get near another US asset flying in international waters, your airplane will be shot down," he said, addressing the Kremlin's leaders on Fox News.
"What would Ronald Reagan do right now?" Graham added. "He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets. American foreign policy is in freefall."
A pair of Russian fighter jets shot down a US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone that was flying over the Black Sea, the US European Command said in a statement on Tuesday. The drone was "conducting routine operations in international airspace" when it was shot down, US Air Force Gen. James Hecker said in the statement.
This is not the first time Graham has proposed that the US ramp up hostilities against the Kremlin. Last year, he called on Russians to kill Vladimir Putin to help end the Ukraine war.
"Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?" Graham tweeted on March 4, 2022. Brutus was the historical Roman figure who killed Julius Caesar, while Claus von Stauffenberg was a German officer known for his failed assassination of Adolf Hitler.
The assassination of a foreign leader by US forces, much like shooting down a fighter jet unprovoked, would be a clear escalation in hostilities between the US and Russia. The US has given military and economic aid to Ukraine but is not engaged in open military conflict with Russia.
Separately, Graham in February also warned China to not supply any weapons for Russia's use in the Ukraine war.
"To the Chinese, if you jump on the Putin train now, you're dumber than dirt. It would be like buying a ticket on the Titanic after you saw the movie," he said on ABC's "This Week" on February 19.
Graham's hawkishness also extends to Mexico. In March, he said the US should unleash its "fury and might" on Mexico's cartels to stop drugs from crossing over the US-Mexico border. He said at a press conference with Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy on March 8 that he wants to introduce legislation that will allow the US to use military force to destroy Mexican drug labs.
A spokesman for Graham and representatives for the State Department did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.
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