Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for many years, was known for his close friendship with Sen. John McCain. When McCain ran for president in 2008, both Graham and Senator Joseph Lieberman were known as his “kitchen cabinet.” During the 2016 election, both during and after Graham’s brief presidential run, Graham agreed in public comments with McCain’s well-known antipathy toward Donald Trump. The senator once called Trump a “race-baiting xenophobic, religious bigot.”
At some point after Trump became president, Graham did a dramatic about-face and began praising Trump on a regular basis. That continued this week when the senator from South Carolina defended the president after a series of tweets about Democratic women in Congress that was roundly condemned as racist.
Graham appeared on Fox & Friends Monday. While he recommended that the president “knock it down a notch,” he agreed with the criticism of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and three other freshman Congresswomen, all of whom are women of color.
“We all know that [AOC] and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border—the Border Patrol agents—concentration camp guards,” Graham said on the show, per The Daily Beast.
Graham, per the report, played golf with Trump on Sunday.
Graham’s comments were criticized not long afterward by Meghan McCain, the panelist on The View and the daughter of Graham’s late friend John McCain. McCain, while she made negative public comments in the past about Ocasio-Cortez and another of the congresswomen, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, had denounced Trump’s tweets as racist on Sunday, per The Inquisitr.
McCain had words to say to the man she once called “Uncle Lindsey.” She referenced the racist attacks on her own Bangladesh-born sister during McCain’s presidential campaign in 2000 and noted that Graham had been by John McCain’s side when that happened.
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) July 15, 2019
“The problem is you’re making this about race,” Megan McCain said, per The Daily Beast. “You’re making this about racism. You’re making this about what’s truly American, and it’s all these old racist dog whistles that have plagued this country for so long, and for me as the conservative representative on this show, I was so upset coming back yesterday.”
Meghan McCain slams the "cowardice" of the GOP for not speaking out against Trump's tweets on the Democratic congresswomen, including Sen. Lindsey Graham's defense of Trump: "Whatever is happening to Lindsey, this is not the person I used to know" https://t.co/xDNYOEfslg @TheView pic.twitter.com/8ZP1Th72d8
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 15, 2019
“Whatever is happening to Lindsey, this is not the person I used to know,” McCain said.
Graham is running for re-election in South Carolina in 2020 and holds a “sizable lead,” The Post and Courier reported last month.