Sen. Graham remains defiant following issuance of Russian arrest warrant

 June 2, 2023

On Monday, Russia issued an arrest warrant for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in response to alleged remarks he'd made that appeared to celebrate the deaths of Russian soldiers during a visit to Ukraine last week.

Graham had immediately responded with defiance at that time and continued his vociferous rhetorical assault on "war criminal" Russian President Vladimir Putin during an appearance Wednesday on Fox News, according to Breitbart.

Graham reiterates that Putin is a "war criminal and a thug"

Sen. Graham joined Fox News host Sean Hannity during his Wednesday program and was asked for his thoughts on the arrest warrant that Russia had issued against him.

"Well, so number one, if I’m tried in Moscow, I don’t like my chances. It’s an away game for me, right?" Graham joked. "Trump would have a better chance in San Francisco than I would in Moscow, so I know what awaits me if I go to Moscow."

"So I told Putin, let’s go to The Hague. You bring your best game against me. I’ll bring my best game against you, and what is this all about?" he continued. "I dared call him a war criminal and a thug. He has invaded his neighbors. He’s raped women, he’s kidnapped children, he’s a war criminal on steroids, and I stood up to him."

"I am for freedom. In Russia, if you say what I did, you go to jail. They’re trying to get me to go to jail. I live in America. I don’t want to live like that," the South Carolina senator said. "I’m for freedom. I want the Ukrainians to be able to defeat Putin. I want to end the war in Ukraine, and how do you end it? You beat Putin there."

"If he wins in Ukraine, he keeps going. We’ll be in a war with Russia because he’ll attack a NATO nation, and China will take Taiwan. So let’s end the war in the Ukraine by helping the Ukrainians beat the Russians," Graham added. "As to Putin, I could give a damn what you think about me. I’m going to keep telling the world you’re a thug and a war criminal -- victory for Ukraine!"

Russia issues arrest warrant over edited video of Graham's remarks

ABC News reported on Monday that the Russian Interior Ministry had issued an arrest warrant for Sen. Graham following a brief "criminal inquiry" into an edited video of remarks that Graham had made days earlier during a visit with Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv.

The video that sparked the controversy had been released by the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and it appeared that Graham had celebrated the fact that "the Russians are dying" in Ukraine thanks to the massive investment of U.S. funding and weapons that the senator described as "the best money we’ve ever spent."

It was later acknowledged by Ukraine that the video had been edited and those two remarks had been made separately, but by then it had already sparked outrage in Russia and prompted a supposed investigation that led to Graham being added to a list of Russia's most wanted criminal suspects.

Russian arrest warrant a "Badge of Honor"

In response, Sen. Graham tweeted out a link to that ABC News report and wrote, "I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor."

"To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy. I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory," he continued.

Graham added, "Finally, here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do. Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!"

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