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Lindsey Graham Is Officially a Terrorist Now (According to Russia)

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was added to a list of “terrorists and extremists” kept by Russian authorities, just one day after accusing President Vladimir Putin of murdering political opposition leader Alexei Navalny, according to Russian state media.

The South Carolina lawmaker called for Russia to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. government, saying Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation that Navalny had been “murdered by Putin.”

“Let’s make them pay a price for killing Navalny,” he added.

That Graham had been added to Russia’s registry, which comprises more than 12,000 people and some 400 companies, according to data collected by OpenSanctions, was first reported by TASS on Tuesday. The state-owned news agency cited Rosfinmonitoring, the Russian government’s financial intelligence agency.

Graham, 68, took the news in stride. “There goes all my rubles!” he tweeted.

The senior Republican’s new designation will allow Russian authorities to freeze any bank accounts he might have in the country, but, as the independent publication The Moscow Times pointed out, it’s highly unlikely that Graham has any such accounts.

Graham was one of many U.S. officials who responded with outrage to news of Navalny’s death in a remote Arctic penal colony last Friday. The activist, who was 47, was reported by Russian authorities to have collapsed after going on a walk. His widow, Yulia Navalnaya, said on Monday that she suspected he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent on Putin’s orders. (Navalny survived a previous such poisoning attempt, widely believed to have been carried out by Russian security forces, in 2020.)

President Joe Biden told reporters on Monday that the U.S. was planning to announce major sanctions against Russia in response to Navalny’s death, according to Reuters.

This is not the first time Russia has publicly taken umbrage with Graham. Last May, it issued a warrant for his arrest in the wake of comments he made backing Ukraine. The senator had traveled to Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose office released an edited video that appeared to show Graham calling U.S. aid to Ukraine “the best money we’ve ever spent.”

Graham was again unruffled by his newfound spot on Russia’s most-wanted list, saying in a statement at the time that he’d wear the warrant as a “badge of honor.”

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

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