CNN’s Manu Raju Grills Lindsey Graham: Would a Dem President Get This Leeway from You?


CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju confronted Senator Lindsey Graham tonight over what he publicly said about Bill Clinton, impeachment, and obstruction back during that scandal versus what he’s publicly said about Donald Trump.

Anderson Cooper tonight brought up when then-Congressman Graham said of Clinton in 1999, “He encouraged people to lie for him. He lied. I think he obstructed justice. I think there’s a compelling case that he has, in fact, engaged in conduct that would be better for him to leave office than to stay in office.”

Cooper also brought up how, given how the Trump administration is fighting subpoenas, Graham “had a lot to say about presidents ignoring subpoenas” in 1998.

After several attempts to ask Graham, as Cooper explained, Raju finally spoke with the South Carolina senator.

Raju told Cooper, “He suggested that he has actually been consistent because he points to the fact that he voted against one of the Clinton articles of impeachment although he did support the other.”

He played that 1998 comment about subpoenas for Graham before bringing up how Trump will “fight all subpoenas.”

“I would if I were him,” Graham responded. “He cooperated with special counsel Mueller. I guess Nixon must not have cooperated with the special counsel. I consider what the House is doing a political exercise and they won’t let it go. If they think he should be impeached, the House can impeach him.”

Raju asked, “Are you okay then with a democratic president ignoring your subpoenas?”

“I’m okay with a politician fighting another politician. That’s what this is,” Graham said, before saying the idea of obstruction is “absurd” in this case.

Raju also pressed Graham on why he considers Trump’s actions “acceptable behavior” given all the obstructive acts detailed by Mueller.

“He didn’t do anything to obstruct justice. Clinton did,” Graham responded.

Raju directly asked, “Would a Democratic president get this leeway from Republican Lindsey Graham?”

“My record is pretty clear,” Graham said. “I voted against an article of impeachment where Clinton clearly lied, but it was about a personal matter… I thought it wouldn’t be good for the office. I don’t think it would be good for the office of the presidency to impeach President Trump when he fully cooperated with the special counsel.”

You can watch more of their exchange above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac