No, it doesn't appear to be mere hyperbole, considering it's the well-known neocon uber-hawk senator from South Carolina, who like the late John McCain would never waist precious opportunity to put the USA firmly on the war path.
Addressing recent reports that Cuba and Russia have sent troops to Venezuela to prop up embattled President Nicolas Maduro, Sen. Lindsey Graham angrily tweeted Friday, "Where is our aircraft carrier?"
"Cuba, Russia send troops to prop Maduro up in Venezuela.....while we talk/sanction," Graham stated.
And he followed with, "Where is our aircraft carrier?"
A spokesperson for Graham later explained the tweet was designed to express support for a “show of force,” according to the Washington Examiner.
It's worth pausing to keep in perspective that a sitting senator is now calling for an aircraft carrier to lead what he would no doubt desire to be a full scale invasion, regime change, and occupation of a country that has never attacked nor substantially threatened the United States — but of course it does have lots of oil and refuses to install a US puppet leader (in the form of Juan Guaido).
Cuba, Russia send troops to prop Maduro up in Venezuela…….while we talk/sanction.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 3, 2019
Where is our aircraft carrier?
Graham's tweet was in response to national security adviser John Bolton's latest somewhat dubious claim that between 20,000 to 25,000 Cuban soldiers have been sent to Venezuela to prop up Maduro, which Bolton offered as explanation for why this week's Guaido-led coup attempt failed so miserably, barely even getting off the ground as it appears a mere handful of military members defected.
Some Congressional members have long accused Russia of interfering in Venezuelan affairs, for which apparently according to Graham's logic, a US aircraft carrier deployment is warranted.
Russia, however, says it's only deployed dozens of "military specialists" to service preexisting military equipment contracts — an explanation which Trump appears to actually agree with, given that during a Friday phone call with Putin, Trump said the Russian president wants to see "something positive happen" for Venezuela, and further that Putin is not looking to get involved in the current crisis, according to CNN.
"He's not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela," declared Trump in reference to Putin following the phone call in front of White House reporters.
Trump's Friday afternoon statement denying Russian interference in the Latin American oil-rich but cash-strapped country also undercut his own national security adviser, given Bolton forcefully asserted Wednesday in an interview with Fox News that "We are not going to see the Russians take over a country in the Western Hemisphere."
Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia. As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019
Bolton accused Russia and Cuba of conspiring to secretly deploy troops to Venezuela in order to prevent so-called "legitimate Interim President" Guaido from "rightfully" taking power as head over the Venezuelan military.
But given Trump's apparently positive "very productive talk" with Putin, it certainly doesn't appear Graham will get his desired aircraft carrier deployment or even heightened US troop readiness to the Venezuelan Caribbean anytime soon.