Lindsey Graham playing politics and flip-flopping in his effort to stay in the center has come to light again as new audio recorded on Jan 6 is highlighted in a book by Reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, who write for the New York Times.
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Martin and Burns obtained the audio, and discuss it in their book which they discussed on Anderson Cooper’s show Tuesday night.
Graham has been all over the place with his stance on Trump.
The four-term senator from South Carolina called the president ‘uninformed’ and said he would be an ‘absolute, utter disaster’ for the party before the 2016 election.
In May 2016, Graham tweeted: ‘If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.’But he quickly emerged as one of the president’s closest allies and most outspoken defenders during his term, the Daily Mail reported.
In 2019, Graham, in an interview with Hannity, blasted Democrats for their 2-year investigation into Trump, saying angrily,” You can say this anyway you would like but here is the bottom line. After 2 years of a political rectal exam, nobody has been looked at more than Trump. They found nothing.”
In the past, Trump has referred to Graham as a RINO when Graham gravitates toward the left.
Unfortunately, Graham’s remarks that were recorded on Jan 6 don’t play so well in retrospect.
Republican Senator Graham, 66, was playing to the crowd during the confusing events at the Capitol on Jan 6.
As he waited in a ‘secure location’ as police worked to clear the Capitol, Graham tried to diffuse the situation as it unraveled. He speculated that the events would unite Americans.
“We will actually come out of this thing stronger. Moments like this reset,’ a somber Graham said from a secure location, according to the audio recording aired on CNN during the show.
“It’ll take a while. People will calm down. People will [say] ‘I don’t want to be associated with that.’ This is a group within a group. What this does, it’ll be a rallying effect for a while, where the country says, ‘We’re better than this.’”
Graham goes on to straddle the situation with praise for Biden. ‘He’ll be maybe the best person to have, right? I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?’ he said in the recording.
Speaking on Anderson Cooper’s show Tuesday night, Martin dove into Graham’s state of mind as the senator considered what had just happened, Daily Mail reported.
‘You can almost hear his voice, Senator Graham, trying to play out what the impact of this attack, which as we talked was still ongoing as we spoke that afternoon on the 6th,’ he said.
Senators were in the middle of certifying the 2020 election results in favor of Joe Biden when the attack began.’The Capitol police were still trying to clear the Capitol in those moments, Graham is thinking ahead, he is thinking about the political impact on his party and the impact on the country,’ he added.
The Senator famously gave an impassioned speech on the floor when Congress resumed moments later, telling his colleagues to ‘count me out’ of Trump world.
Graham, now among the ex-president’s staunchest supporters in Congress, reportedly even hoped the insurrection would be a catalyst for the GOP breaking free of Trump, Daily Mail reported.
He also suggested using the 25th amendment to strip him of his powers.
If Trump did not condemn the Capitol rioters on stronger terms, an ‘enraged’ Graham told White House counsel Pat Cipollone on January 6, then ‘we’ll be asking you for the 25th Amendment,’ reports from the book obtained by Axios read.
Since then, however, he’s returned to praising Trump for what he did during his administration and has even been spotted golfing with the ex-president at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida., Daily Mail reported.
Three months after January 6, Trump was on the phone pushing Graham to tell reporters how good he is at golf, according to audio shared on The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
‘And most importantly, would you tell them one thing? Can Trump play golf? Legitimately play golf?’ Trump asked Graham while he was on speakerphone.
Graham said he can.
‘If you don’t believe me go play with him,’ Graham added.
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Graham and Trump still oppose each other on some issues. For instance, Graham recently took exception to Trump’s calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “genius.”
“That was a mistake. I think I know what he was trying to say…let’s just make it clear, Putin’s not a genius, he’s a war criminal.”
Trump and Graham have aligned on questioning the leadership of Mitch McConnell in Congress.
In January, Graham said, “If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with Trump. Can Senator McConnell effectively work with Donald Trump? I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t have a working relationship with Trump.”