- New audio has been leaked of Senator Lindsey Graham revealing her feelings about Biden and Trump.
- In a post-riot interview at the Capitol, Graham is heard saying he thinks Biden is the “best person” to have.
- Graham is also heard criticizing Trump in another tape, saying he is “playing the game show” and “went too far.”
New audio tapes have surfaced of Sen. Lindsey Graham, a known Trump ally, criticizing Trump and praising Biden after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The tapes were shown on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” during an interview segment with New York Times reporters Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin. Martin interviewed Graham on Jan. 6 directly after the riot, and the senator spoke candidly about then-president-elect Joe Biden and former president Trump.
In the first audio clip, Graham said he thinks everyone will “come out stronger.”
“Moments like this reset. People will calm down. People will be like, ‘I don’t want to be associated with this,’” Graham said. “It’s a group within a group. What it does, there will be a rallying effect for a while, (then) the country will say ‘We’re better than that.’
He was then asked if Biden would help make it happen, to which Graham replied, “Totally.”
“He might be the best person to have,” Graham is heard saying. “I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?”
In a second audiotape released on CNN, Graham is heard saying in an interview after the riot that he thought Trump “misjudged passion”, criticizing the former president’s actions.
“He’s playing the game show and he’s gone too far here,” Graham said. “That rally didn’t help, talk about primary Liz (Cheney.) It created a sense of revenge.”
Graham was likely referring to part of Trump’s speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump suggested his supporters “take hell” among those not fighting to overturn the election.
Graham is known to be a staunch ally of the former president. However, Graham may have had a more complicated view of Trump. In Burns and Martin’s new book “This Will Not Pass,” they claim Graham threatened to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office during the Capitol Riot. Trump later poked fun at Graham, calling him a “progressive senator ‘from South Carolina’ at a fundraising dinner in March at Mar-a-Lago.
Graham also publicly criticized Trump for floating the possibility of pardons for Capitol rioters, calling Trump’s idea “inappropriate.” This then prompted Trump to call Graham a RINO, a GOP slur meaning “Republican in name only.” The term has often been used against Trump critics like GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.