Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump, said Thursday that the President’s accomplishments have been “tarnished by yesterday” and the attack “will be a major part of his presidency”.
“As to yesterday, that my friend, a President with consequence, would allow yesterday to happen. And it will be a major part of his presidency. It was a self-inflicted wound. It was going too far,” Graham said.
“When it comes to accountability, the President needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution,” he added.
“I’ve become close to the President personally… It has been an amazing four years in terms of judges, securing the border, a vaccine in record time, deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, historic Mideast peace agreements, the destruction of the caliphate, on and on and on, was tarnished by yesterday,” he said
While he was critical of Trump at a press conference Thursday about the Capitol riot, Graham toed the line and defended Trump by also placing blame on media coverage and Trump’s advisers.
On whether he thinks Trump could incite more violence, he replied: “I’m hoping he won’t.” Adding, that he is hopeful because “I spoke to some people this morning, I got some assurances… I think we are moving in the right direction.”
On the 25th Amendment, he said “I do not believe that’s appropriate at this point.” But he added that, “If something else happens all options would be on the table.”
Graham said he has “absolutely no regrets” about supporting President Trump.
“The reason I’ve been close to the President is I think he’s done tremendous things for this country,” he said, pointing to judicial nominations among other accomplishments.
Asked if he thinks Trump would run for office again in the future, he replied: “I’m not worried about the next election, I’m worried about the next 14 days.”
He also called on Trump to “accept he fell short” in the election, “and a new president will be coming.” He also asked him to “turn down the rhetoric and allow us as a nation to heal and move forward.”
“I am hopeful that the worst is behind us and we can transfer power on January 20,” he said.
He praised Vice President Mike Pence, and said “The things he was asked to do in the name of loyalty were over the top, unconstitutional, illegal and would have been wrong for the country.”