Headline RoundupMay 29th, 2023

Fact Check: Edited Video of Sen. Lindsey Graham Angers Russian Leadership

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) visit to Ukraine and praise of Ukrainian forces last week drew the ire of Russian leaders. The Russian Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant against the senator, and Russian media figures delivered threats of retribution. 

Details: During his visit to Ukraine, Graham sat down for a filmed conversation with Ukrainian leadership, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In a video first released by Zelenskyy’s office, two clips of Graham are spliced together, making it seem like he says “the Russians are dying. It’s the best money we’ve ever spent.” This was the clip cited by Russian officials in the arrest warrant. Later, a longer version of the clip was released, showing that Graham’s “best money we’ve ever spent” comment was in response to Zelenskyy thanking the United States for its continued military and economic aid.

Key Quotes: In response to the arrest warrant, a statement from Graham read, “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,” adding, “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.”

How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum noted that the editing in the initial video gave a false representation of Graham’s words.

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