Democrat Joe Biden is “the best person” to lead the United States, Republican Senator and staunch Donald Trump supporter Lindsey Graham said in recordings released Monday by the authors of a best-selling political book.
The South Carolina senator was speaking on January 6, 2021, and shortly after to Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, now authors of This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.
On January 6, 2021, shortly before the attack on the US Capitol, Trump told his supporters to “fight like hell” in service of his lie that his loss to Biden in the 2020 election was caused by electoral fraud.
A bipartisan Senate committee has linked seven deaths to the ensuing riot, an unsuccessful attempt to stop the certification of electoral college results.
“Moments like that reset,” Graham said that day, in a tape that aired on CNN on Tuesday.
“People will calm down. People will say, “I don’t want to be associated with that. It’s a group within a group. What this does, there will be a rallying effect for a while, [then] the country says “We are better than that”.
When asked if Biden could help the country come together, Graham replied, “Totally.”
“He might be the best person to have. I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?
In the year and a half since the Capitol riot, much of the country and most Republicans have remained angry with Biden. The president’s approval numbers continue to reach similar depths to those charted by Trump while in office.
Biden is reportedly angry with Graham, a longtime Senate associate who, despite saying he was “out” of Trump’s camp immediately after the Jan. 6 riot, quickly returned to the fold.
In other taped remarks played by Martin and Burns, Graham said Trump “misjudged the passion” of his supporters.
“He’s on the game show and he’s gone too far here,” the senator was heard saying. “That rally didn’t help, speaking of the primary,” said Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the House Jan. 6 committee.
“He created a sense of revenge.”
Trump remains the dominant force in the Republican Party, endorsing candidates in the primaries and apparently preparing for another presidential race in 2024.
A spokesperson for Graham told CNN: “The Joe Biden we see as president is not the one we saw in the Senate. He pursued a far-left agenda as president.