Lindsey Graham Floats Shooting Russian Planes on Sean Hannity After American Drone Downed

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested Tuesday that the downing of an unmanned U.S. drone over the Black Sea earlier by two Russian Su-27 aircraft should result in the U.S. shooting down Russian planes if they “ever get near another U.S. asset flying in international waters.”

The U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) criticized the reckless actions of the Russian aircraft, which struck the drone’s propeller and caused it to crash.

“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” it said Tuesday. (Russia has denied doing so.)

Gen. James B. Hecker, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, added that “this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”

Graham, appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, was asked what an appropriate response would look like.

“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,’” Graham said. “What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting Russian planes down if they were threatening our assets.”

Graham then targeted President Biden, accusing his foreign policy of being “in free-fall” and claiming that he isn’t respected by other world leaders. The administration’s handling of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and of the Chinese spy balloon earlier this year, for instance, Graham took issue with.

“If you don’t change your game and up your game,” Graham said later, addressing Biden personally, “we’re going to have World War III.”

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