Lindsey Graham is reportedly flying to the Mar-a-Lago report in Florida for a weekend with Donald Trump, even after Trump had spent the majority of the week publicly trashing Graham’s longtime friend, John McCain.
Trump began launching attacks against McCain last weekend, targeting the now-deceased Arizona senator on a number of fronts, including his decision to hand over the Steele dossier to the FBI and for casting the deciding vote against the Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare. It was not clear what prompted the attacks from Trump, which at times turned very personal, as Trump insulted the late McCain’s intelligence.
As Trump’s attacks continued unabated, many took aim at Lindsey Graham for failing to forcefully defend is longtime friend. Amid the attacks, Graham took to Twitter to express his gratitude for McCain’s service to the country but failed to mention Donald Trump in any way.
“As to @SenJohnMcCain and his devotion to his country: He stepped forward to risk his life for his country, served honorably under difficult circumstances, and was one of the most consequential senators in the history of the body,” Graham tweeted. He added, “Nothing about his service will ever be changed or diminished.”
Graham’s defense of John McCain was slammed by the Washington Post as “remarkably tepid” and noted that Graham did nothing to refute the many false claims Trump leveled at McCain, including that the late senator was working with Democrats to steal the 2016 election from Trump and that McCain finished at the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Despite opposing Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and once referring to him as a “race-baiting, xenophobic bigot,” Graham has changed course almost entirely and become one of the president’s strongest backers. Graham has frequently defended Trump and gone on the attack against his perceived political enemies.
A report from CNN suggested that demographics could have something to do with it. A Winthrop Poll noted that Graham’s approval within his home state of South Carolina for Republicans and right-leaning voters is 74 percent, while Trump actually tops him at 82 percent among the same group. So aligning with Trump, despite the president’s attacks on John McCain, could be politically advantageous to Graham.
AJ knows a lot about golf and life!
Great caddy. Better person.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 22, 2019
The weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago is not all that unusual for Lindsey Graham, even if the timing after Trump’s attacks on John McCain seems a bit curious. Graham has become a frequent golf partner for Trump, often hitting the links at courses owned by Trump’s company.