Many have wondered why Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made a complete 180-degree turn with Donald Trump in 2016. The South Carolina Republican had been one of Trump’s biggest critics prior to his 2016 election, but quickly became a devoted supporter of the former president. Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, who famously became a meme after his interview with Trump went viral, asked Graham why he is still devoted to a man who caused an insurrection.
Swan asked Graham about encouraging Trump to run again in 2024 when he made it clear that he can’t believe Graham would do something like that.
“I just don’t understand how you could — you don’t really believe that, do you? You’re just Saying so he doesn’t go off and form a third party?” Swan said, frankly.
“A third party would be a disaster,” said Graham.
“I know it! That’s what you’re doing. You’re stroking his ego,” Swan said.
Graham claimed that he has told Trump that he should keep his options open for 2024. He explained that his hope is that the most electable person runs.
Graham then said that the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol did not stop him from being Trump’s friend.
“Donald Trump was my friend before the riot,” Graham said. “And I’m trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot. Uh, I still consider him a friend. What happened was a dark day in American history and we’re going to move forward, so here’s what you need to know about me. I’m going to continue — I want us to continue the policies that I think will make America strong. I believe that the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump.”
Swan noted that Trump still tells people that he won, even though it’s clear that he didn’t.
“And I still tell him every day that he wants to listen that the main reason he probably lost in Arizona is beating on the dead guy called John McCain,” Graham continued. He went on to explain that it’s too easy to throw Trump out and what he hopes to do is take the Trump movement and turn it into something that could work.
“Mitt Romney didn’t do it. John McCain didn’t do it. There’s something about Trump,” said Graham. “There’s a dark side and there’s some magic there. What I’m trying to do is harness the magic. To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum. I mean, it’s just this bigger-than-life deal that could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know could make it.”
Take a look at the video clip below: