Sen. Lindsey Graham (WORM-SC) told Fox News Sunday viewers to never mind his criticisms of Donald Trump’s “over the top” behavior that “encouraged” the January 6 insurrection because “Trump+” is the way to win in 2022.
Despite saying on January 7 that it “breaks my heart” that Trump “would allow” the insurrection to have happened and that he “needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution,” Graham announced today he’s going to be kissing Trump’s you-know-what next week in a visit to Florida. Here’s how Graham described his post-acquittal phone call with Dear Leader:
GRAHAM: And I said Mr. President, this MAGA movement needs to continue. We need to unite the party. Trump+ is the way back in 2022.
And here’s how he justified kissing Trump’s you-know-what despite it having nearly caused Graham's own injury or death:
GRAHAM: My goal is to win in 2022, to stop the most radical agenda I've seen coming out of the Democratic presidency of Joe Biden. We can't do that without Donald Trump, so he's ready to hit the trail and I'm ready to work with him.
Graham also had a warning for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who made a post-acquittal speech that, as host Chris Wallace described it, “basically said the president is guilty, but that the Senate doesn't have the power to convict, to act against a former president.”
Apparently, that jeopardized Graham’s win-at-all-cost strategy, which means the Worm from SC is ready to toss McConnell (and probably any other non-Trumper) under the bus:
GRAHAM: That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns. I would imagine if you're a Republican running in Arizona or Georgia or New Hampshire, where we have achance to take back the Senate, they may be playing Senator McConnell's speech and asking you about it as a candidate and I imagine if you're an incumbent Republican, there are going to be people asking you, will you support Senator McConnell in the future?
Wallace asked Graham if Trump bears any responsibility for the January 6th insurrection. He got a wormy answer that made it very clear Graham knows darned well Trump betrayed the country and that he’d throw Trump under the bus in a heartbeat, too, if it were expedient:
GRAHAM: No, in terms of the law, no. He bears responsibility of pushing narratives about the election that I think are not sound and not true, but this was politically protected speech. The speech on January the 6th was not an incitement to violence. Every politician has used the word fight, fight hard, so I don't think that he caused the riot.
His behavior after the election was over the top. There was a pre-planned element to this attack, Mr. Wallace, that we need to look at. Did Nancy Pelosi know on January the 5th that there was a threat to the Capitol? What did President Trump do after the attack? We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened to make sure it never happens again and I want to make sure that the Capitol footprint can be better defended next time.
Wallace also asked about Trump's heartless response to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plea for help on January 6th. Wallace played a clip of Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA) stating on video that Trump first tried to blame Antifa for the insurrection then, when told it was a MAGA mob, shrugged it off by saying, "Well, Kevin, I guess they're just more concerned about this election than you are."
“What does that tell you, Senator, about how the president viewed the riot while it was happening?” Wallace asked.
Graham shrugged that off the way Trump had shrugged off the murderous mob. “It doesn't tell me a whole lot, because it's all hearsay,” Graham said. Then he called for a 9/11-type investigation and cited instances that Trump told people to be peaceful.
In fact, Graham had just seen a mountain of evidence at trial showing that Trump was, at the least, tolerant of violence (assuming, that is, Graham hadn’t been too busy strategizing with the Trump defense and missed it).
“Could the president have done more? Yes. Did he incite this riot by his speech? Absolutely not,” Graham said, covering his bets.
But for now, Graham has his nose planted firmly up Trump’s butt – even as he acknowledged Trump bore at least some of the responsibility for the armed insurrection:
GRAHAM: [T]o the Republican Party, if you want to win and stop a socialist agenda, we need to work with President Trump. We can't do it without him and to you, President Trump, you need to build the Republican Party stronger.
I'm into winning and if you want to get something off your chest, fine, but I'm into winning.
GRAHAM: All I can say is that the most potent force in the Republican Party is President Trump. We need Trump+ and at the end of the day, I've been involved in politics for over 25 years, the president is a handful and what happened on January the 6th was terrible for the country, but he's not singularly to blame.
[T]he biggest winner I think of this whole impeachment trial is Lara Trump. My dear friend Richard Burr [who is retiring and voted to convict Trump} who I like and have been friends to a long time just made Lara Trump almost the certain nominee for the Senate seat in North Carolina to replace him if she runs. And I certainly will be behind her because I think she represents the future of the Republican Party.
You can watch Graham display an utter lack of scruples and morality below, from the February 14, 2021 Fox News Sunday.