Lindsey Graham decides he doesn't want to blame Trump for Capitol riots after all

1977

What a difference two weeks make.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Tuesday that Donald Trump is not to blame for inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection — weeks after saying Trump was the problem.

On Fox News, Graham argued against convicting Trump in his second impeachment trial, saying it would be bad for the GOP.

"You can be disappointed with the president's behavior, but applaud his actions. And the people who defiled the Capitol — they did that, not me, not Donald Trump. And that does not represent the 74 million people who stood behind President Trump and would vote for him again today," he argued. "So to my Republican colleagues in the Senate, we have to rise to the occasion. If we don't, we are going to destroy the party."

But two weeks ago, Graham was singing a very different tune.

After pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, Graham angrily denounced Trump and his false claims that President-elect Joe Biden had not really won the presidency.

"Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it," he told the Senate. "From my point of view he's been a consequential president. But today, first thing you'll see. All I can say, is count me out, enough is enough."

At a press conference the day after the attacks, Graham said, "It breaks my heart that my friend, a president of consequence, would allow yesterday to happen. And it will be a major part of his presidency. It was a self-inflicted wound."

"When it comes to accountability, the president needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution," he added.

But soon after, Graham was heckled by pro-Trump mobs at an airport. They accused him of being a "traitor" and threatened that it would "be like this forever, wherever you go for the rest of your life."

But just days after that, Graham patched up his friendship with Trump. Last Tuesday, he joined Trump on Air Force One for a visit to the $15 billion partial border wall Trump failed to complete.

Graham has since been one of the most vocal opponents of Trump's second impeachment, arguing that holding the outgoing president accountable would only cause "further violence."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.