There was a time when Senator Lindsey Graham was as vocal a critic of Donald Trump as any Republican official. During the run-up to the 2016 election, Graham called the eventual and now former president a “kook” (among other things), but now his tone is completely different. In fact, Graham now sees former President Trump as a critical part of future growth within the Republican party.
At the end of an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity talked about a number of future African-American Republicans in the context of the future of the GOP’s growth and retaking the majority of either the Senate or House chamber in the U.S. Capitol, and noting how, in his opinion, “It looks like the Democratic party wants to be the party of coastal elites.”
“Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” Graham replied. He then brought up the current political pariah within the Republican House Caucus, saying “I’ve always liked Liz Cheney but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.”
Rep. Cheney currently holds the role of Conference Chair, which makes her the third-ranking member of House Republicans, but it seems by many reports that that title is soon to be stripped from her due to an ugly GOP civil war that is pitting Cheney, and a handful of her supporters, against Trump and his raft of congressional members who either rely on, or fear, his political sway within the GOP and, of course, his base of supporters.
At issue is of course is Trump’s false claims of a “stolen” election and Cheney’s insistence that her fellow Republicans not just call out his “big lie” but that they distance themselves as a party from Trump’s continued falsehoods.
Graham’s condemnation of Cheney and support of Trump is very different from a speech he gave on the Senate floor during Trump’s historic second impeachment trial in which he declared “I’m out” regarding his relationship with Trump. Shortly after, a video emerged of his getting yelled at by Trump supporters in an airport, and shortly after, Graham changed his tune (again) and, as the clip above neatly illustrates, he is back to being all in on Trump.
Watch above via Fox News.
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