During an appearance on Hannity, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-NC) appeared to call on the U.S. military to start “shooting Russian planes down,” a move that would risk pushing the west into a full-blown conflict with Russia.
Graham made the remarks following reports that two Russian Su-27 aircraft shot down an unmanned U.S. drone over the Black Sea. The drone was “conducting routine operations in international airspace” when it was shot down, U.S. Air Force Gen. James Hecker said in a statement.
“Well, we should hold them accountable and say that, ‘If you ever get near another U.S. asset flying in international waters, your airplane will be shot down,'” said Graham. “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets. American foreign policy is in freefall.”
“All I can tell you is that on multiple fronts, we’re in a dangerous situation,” he continued. “Weakness creates provocation. They know they can get away with it.”
Graham also criticized Biden’s handling of the conflict, describing him as “a deer in the headlights” who risks escalating the situation into a global conflict.
“If you don’t change your game and up your game, we’re going to have World War III,” he told Biden.
Russia’s ambassador has blamed Washington for the incident. “We view this incident as a provocation,” Ambassador Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Wednesday. “What would be the reaction of the United States if you see such a Russian drone very close to, for example, San Francisco or New York? ‘For me, it’s clear, for you as well.”
The country’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, claims that the drone crashed after “sharp maneuvering,” explaining that the drone was flying toward its airspace with its transponder turned off before Russian fighters were ordered to investigate.