WATCH: Lindsey Graham Told Trump He’d “F***ed Up” The Presidency, Should Accept Loss
As Donald Trump went from presidential candidate to Republican nominee to the presidency, Lindsey Graham transitioned from warning of the dangers of a President Trump to finding a great deal of tolerance for him, extending to exuberant public displays of support. However, reporting from Bob Woodward in his new book Peril shows that at times, behind the scenes, Graham’s tolerance of Trump flagged, finally prompting the Senator from South Carolina to lash out by phone, letting Trump know just who holds the responsibility for his loss.
In an interview with NBC‘s Meet The Press, Woodward discussed how Senators including Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee seemed to be juggling contradictory positions, both supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, and telling him to let it go. In one phone call, Woodward reports, Graham grew frustrated enough to tell Trump, “You f***ed up the presidency.”
Trump, Woodward says, hung up on Graham, but when the two spoke the next day, Graham was conciliatory.
Woodward describes Rudy Giuliani — personal attorney to Trump at the end of his presidency — as sending memos to Graham and others, trying to convince them that there was sufficient evidence of genuine election fraud. Graham, at one point, even admitted he’d contacted other states, trying to alter the outcome of the election.
However, Woodward describes Graham reaching a point where he could no longer believe or support it, and finally telling Trump so in the phone call described above — “just a few months ago. Still, even at that point, Graham is described as being conciliatory the next day in a follow-up call. Trump doesn’t seem too happy about the disclosure in Peril — last week he lashed out in an email, attacking Senators Graham and Lee for “not putting up the fight necessary” to help him maintain the presidency after his loss.