South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham hit Fox and Friends Tuesday morning to talk about the mid-terms, Saudi Arabia, and Elizabeth Warren. It was during the last topic of discussion that the senator put his foot firmly in his mouth. While riffing about how he would like to take a DNA test, Graham joked that it might turn out that he had Iranian ancestry, according to Esquire.
“That’d be, like, terrible,” he said.
The Republican senator was speaking with Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy when he decided to weigh in on the recent news that Elizabeth Warren had some Native American heritage in her DNA history.
“I’m gonna take a DNA test, all of you have. The results are gonna be revealed here. This is my Trump moment, this is reality TV,” said Graham. “She’s less than one-tenth of one percent. I think I can beat her.”
Not content to leave it at that, Graham decided to take things to another level. When Steve Doocy asked the senator to return in a few weeks to reveal the results of his DNA test, Graham laughed that he might find out something he considers “terrible” — that he might have Iranian ancestry.
Host Brian Kilmeade quickly cut into Graham’s comment, saying that the people in Iran are great, but that the country has “bad leaders.”
“I’m not in the Ayatollah branch,” Graham responded.
Twitter users were quick to respond to the comment.
“For once I agree with Lindsey Graham. It would be terrible if he were Iranian… terrible for Iranians,” said user Abdi Nazemian.
“Hey @LindseyGrahamSC I’m 100% of Iranian decent and a registered Republican- who recently donated to a Republican candidate. Is that, like, terrible?” said user Kevan Hatamzadeh.
Journalist Aaron Rupar denounced Graham’s comments as “gross, casual bigotry.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test on Monday in order to counter criticism that she is falsely claiming to have Native American ancestry. Warren has claimed in the past that she grew up hearing family lore about Cherokee ancestors. President Trump has called Warren “Pocahontas” in order to mock the claim.
DNA testing showed that Warren’s statements are at least partially accurate. The DNA analysis revealed that she has a Native American ancestor somewhere between six and 10 generations ago, as CNBC reports.
“Now, the President likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?” Warren asked after the DNA results were revealed.
She also called for Trump to make good on his promise to donate $1 million to a charity of her choice.
“I will only do it if I can test her personally,” Trump responded. “That will not be something that I enjoy doing.”