Sen. Lindsey Graham fires back at Trump: 'History is watching us all'


Even the South Carolina senator who made headlines for defending the Confederate flag thinks Trump's acquiescence to white supremacy goes too far.

When Donald Trump repeatedly refused to condemn white supremacy after the riots in Charlottesville, and blamed "both sides" for Nazi demonstrators macing, beating, and ramming unarmed protestors with a car, not even Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham could make excuses for the president's moral failure.

On Wednesday, Graham criticized Trump, saying his Charlottesville remarks are "dividing Americans, not healing them." Despite the fact that Graham is a staunch legislative ally of Trump, the president cannot stand verbal criticism. So Trump lashed out at him on Twitter, accusing him of a "disgusting lie" and insisting Graham "just can't forget his election trouncing. The people of South Carolina will remember!"

Shortly after, Graham doubled down and hit back with more harsh words for Trump:

Graham, for the record, is not anyone's idea of a civil rights champion. He voted to abolish racial diversity programs at colleges and universities, attacked the NAACP for criticizing Jeff Sessions, and has a 0 percent score from the ACLU.

He also equivocated on whether to remove the Confederate battle banner from the South Carolina state capitol after the 2015 Charleston church shooting, insisting the flag is "part of who we are."

But even Graham has his limits. And when a conservative Republican senator from the first state to secede from the Union has to warn the president that "history is watching," that is not good news.

Trump, for his part, gives no indication he understands the gravity of the divide he is aggravating, with his latest attack on people pushing to remove the "beautiful statues and monuments" of Confederate generals who murdered American troops to defend slavery.

Graham's remarks are yet another demonstration of Trump's inability to lead the nation. He cares more about bolstering his image to a narrow set of extremists than about healing historical rifts. And even Republicans are starting to realize it.