According to a new book excerpt revealed on Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham threatened White House officials that he would call for Donald Trump’s removal if they did not condemn his supporters’ storming of the Capitol on January 6.
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The former president’s staunchest defender in Congress, Graham, reportedly even hoped the violence that day would set the Republican Party free from Trump’s control over it.
Following the 2020 presidential election, he stated that then-President-elect Joe Biden would be well-suited to lead the country amid political turmoil, according to a forthcoming book by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns called This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.
On January 6, an ‘enraged’ Graham called White House Counsel Joe Cipollone and told him that if Trump did not condemn the Capitol rioters in the strongest terms, then ‘we’ll be asking you for the 25th Amendment,’ reports from the book obtained by Axios read.
Using a majority vote, the Vice President and Cabinet have the power to remove the commander-in-chief from office under the 25th Amendment. This has never occurred in American history.
During the riot, Graham told the book’s authors that he hoped Republicans would shun Donald Trump.
‘People will say, “I don’t want to be associated with that”,’ Graham stated after the Senate was evacuated. ‘There will be a rallying effect for a while, the country says: We’re better than this.’
As for the current president, whom he criticizes often, he said: ‘I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?’
In his impassioned remarks on the floor after the riot, Graham encouraged his fellow lawmakers to ‘count me out’ of the world of Trump and sharply criticized the former president for his role.
Since then, he has praised Trump for what he accomplished during his administration, and he has even been seen golfing with Trump at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.
At the same time, he has been relentlessly criticizing Biden, with whom he was close when they served together in the Senate.
As a result of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, he even called for the Democrat’s impeachment.
According to Biden, Graham had ‘been a personal disappointment because I was a personal friend of his’ after he publicly urged an investigation into his son Hunter’s business in Ukraine, which Trump anticipated would help him win the election.
Despite his best efforts, Graham has suffered from a rocky relationship with former President Trump, who has repeatedly referred to Graham as a RINO whenever their views differed.
Earlier this month, Trump slammed Graham for calling Trump’s idea of pardoning the January 6 rioters ‘inappropriate.’
‘Well, Lindsay Graham is wrong,’ Trump said during an interview on Newsmax. ‘I mean, Lindsey is a nice guy, but he’s a RINO. Lindsey’s wrong.’
While campaigning in Conroe, Texas in January, Trump promised to treat those arrested for breaking into the U.S. Capitol ‘fairly.’
‘We will treat them fairly, and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly,’ Trump said back then.
In an interview with CBS News the following Sunday, Graham said: ‘I don’t want to reinforce that defiling the Capitol was OK. I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future.’
Meanwhile, Trump spoke out on the state of the world and the country under Joe Biden during an event last week.
Ryan Kelly for The Republic Brief wrote:
During his first rally since the State of the Union, Trump went after Joe Biden for his remarks during which he said the former president was crawling on his knees and begging for oil because the U.S. cut off Russian energy after it invaded Ukraine.
‘Joe Biden is the president of the most energy rich country on the planet, yet because of his party’s climate hysteria, what they believe on the planet, Biden locked down American oil and natural gas production,’ he said Saturday evening as he addressed a cold and windy Florence, South Carolina crowd.
Next, he said: ‘Now Biden is crawling around the globe on his knees begging and pleading for mercy from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela.’
Oil prices have doubled and nearly tripled as a result of U.S. sanctions against Russia. The result is record gas pump numbers and noticeably unhappy Americans.
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‘Nobody’s so stupid,’ Trump said about Biden taking oil from foreign nations rather than tapping into American resources.
‘He’s also selling out the brave people of Cuba and Venezuela, groveling at the feet of the oil-rich and brutal Maduro regime,’ he continued.
‘They’re after Maduro and now all of a sudden they say listen, ‘Forget that. Forget what we’ve been saying for the last long time… Forget the last 15 years, we’d like to buy oil. We’d pay you any price you want. Please, please, please sell us some oil. Please sell us some oil, we don’t have any oil.’ He must think we are the stupidest people on earth, you know,’ Trump said.