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Graham Under Fire for 'Disgusting' Joke on 'Fox & Friends' About Iranian DNA

The National Iranian American Council slammed Republican senator and demanded an apology after he said it would be 'terrible' if a DNA test showed he had Iranian ancestry

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talks about possible legislation for so-called "dreamer" immigrant children as well as the health of his friend Senator John McCain (R-AZ), during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. July 20, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The National Iranian American Council slammed Republican Senator Lindsey Graham after he joked on "Fox & Friends" it would be “terrible” if a DNA test showed he had Iranian ancestry.

Jamal Abdi, president of the influential American-Iranian advocacy group, called Graham’s comment as “disgusting” in a statement and demanded an apology.

“If you dread the notion of Iranian ancestry and believe all Iranians are liars, you are hopelessly bigoted and unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate where votes affect tens of millions of Iranians and millions more of Iranian ancestry in the diaspora,” Abdi said.

Graham made the remark while joking with the hosts about Senator Elizabeth Warren's recent DNA test. He said if he took a test, "I'll probably be Iranian. That'd be, like, terrible," Graham said.

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"Fox & Friends" co-host Brain Kilmeade, apparently aware of what had just happened, tried to clarify Graham's remark, saying "Great people, just bad leaders." 

"Bad leaders," Graham repeated, laughing.