Lindsey Graham Says People Pushing Him About Trump and McCain ‘Don’t Really Care’: ‘You Just Hate Trump’
Sen. Lindsey Graham was, in the Senate, the most visible and probably best friend of the late Senator John McCain, and has faced some criticism for not forcefully pushing back on President Trump‘s relentless bashing of McCain over the months since his death.
On CNN Wednesday, he addressed the topic, in light of the recent revelations that McCain handed over to the FBI the infamous Steele Dossier, something that Graham last week said was “appropriate” for McCain to do.
Graham called the dossier “garbage” and host Kate Bolduan asked him if he regrets suggesting to McCain to give it to the FBI.
“Not at all,” said Graham. “So in December somebody gave the dossier to McCain. He didn’t give it to the press. He said, I don’t know, what do you think?’ I said, listen, I don’t know if it’s true, it could be a bunch of garbage, it could be true. It’s not our job to figure it out. Hand it to the FBI. The FBI had the dossier months before, but we didn’t know. But what do we know now? We know now that the information with the dossier is unverified to this day.”
Bolduan brought up that Trump and his supporters are saying that John McCain “shopped” the dossier “all over town” and Graham clarified that someone from the McCain Institute may have done so but that John McCain acted responsibly with the document. So Bolduan asked him if he’s set the President straight on that.
“Well I told him, yeah. I mean, I don’t care–I’m not out to please the president about John McCain. He’s my friend, John McCain. I loved the guy to death. He’s an American hero,” said Graham. “I want to help the president and I like him.”
Bolduan pushed on the topic of Trump’s fight with McCain, and played a clip of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) offering his two cents on the relationship between McCain and Graham for some reason. She asked: “Do you want to respond to that?”
“Yeah I could give a damn what he thinks about me and John McCain,” said Graham.
He praised McCain again, and said “he was one of my dearest friends.” He added “it’s okay for John McCain and Donald Trump to disagree.”
“It’s not okay, in my view, for the president to go after John McCain personally. I’ve said that a thousand times,” Graham continued, “but the bottom line here is I’m going to help President Trump. I don’t want care whether Mr. Jefferies likes it or not. I’ll honor my friend until the day I die, but this president feels like people around McCain were out to get him. John McCain wasn’t.”
Bolduan pushed even more, asking “how can you work with someone” who attacks McCain like Trump does.
Graham pointed out that his constituents expect him to work with Trump, and said that he intends to do so and thinks Trump is going a great job. Then he went after the people, like Bolduan, who bring it up as a point of contention.
“To all those people who bring up this narrative, you just hate Trump. You don’t really care about McCain and me,” he said to Bolduan directly. “I know this. This is a game. You’re not offended about me and McCain, you’re trying to use me to get to Trump. I’m not playing that game.”
“If you think the only way to honor John McCain is to tell this president, ‘I won’t work with you, I won’t ever help you,’ that’s your agenda, not mine,” he continued. “My agenda is two-fold, to honor my friend for the rest of my life in any way I can, and help this president be successful, and I’m not into this idea that the the only way to honor John McCain is to trash out Trump.”
“I’m the senator of South Carolina and I’m going to do what the people of south Carolina want me to do: help make this president successful,” he concluded.
Watch the clip above, from CNN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]