Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Friday expressed support for Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) call to see Russian President Vladimir Putin assassinated following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, though the NeverTrump lawmaker did pour cold water on the idea that the United States should be the country that kills Putin.
Kinzinger made his comments on an episode of TMZ Live.
A transcript is as follows:
HARVEY LEVIN: Your reaction to what Lindsey Graham said?
REP. ADAM KINZINGER: I actually agree with him. The reason is it’s not saying the United States needs to do it. I think we have always said that Putin has isolated himself. The hope in some of these sanctions, and the sanctions against the oligarchs, is that the population does turn on him. I don’t know if I would have put it in quite the colorful way that Lindsey Graham did, being as how we need to be a bit more professional. But I think he’s saying the truth, which is it’s going to have to the Russian people who say “there’s a lot of pain with these sanctions, we have maybe upwards of 9,000 Russian soldiers already dead. We’ve had enough.”
There’s a lot of feeling that, organically, we’re certainly hoping Vladimir Putin somehow is no longer president of Russia. Again, we do have to be responsible with our words, because the Russian morale is super low right now. One thing we don’t want to do is give ammunition to the Russian people to rally around something.
“Even though I’ve said we need a no-fly zone over Ukraine, I can understand that it comes with real risk. I just fear, ultimately, we’re going to be in a position to have to do it anyway,” Kinzinger said.