Jake Tapper Slams Lindsey Graham Over ‘Confusing’ Ukraine Scandal Statements

Senator Lindsey Graham speaks to the media at the White House.
Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

On Saturday, CNN host Jake Tapper ripped into South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, criticizing the senator’s ever-evolving stance on the Trump-Ukraine scandal, reports The Daily Beast.

“Graham’s public statements on the matter have been confusing,” Tapper began, pointing out that the senator seems to change his position on impeachment whenever new information about President Donald Trump’s allegedly inappropriate contacts with Ukraine becomes available.

In late September, Tapper noted, Graham called the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.”

Once new information came out, Tapper pointed out, Graham changed his position.

“If you could show me that Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing,” the senator said last month during an interview.

“We now have reams of evidence,” Tapper said, pointing to testimonies from multiple current and former Trump administration officials.

Coupled with new information, the testimonies suggest that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney both knew about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, and in fact pushed the country to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, according to Tapper.

The anchor then turned his attention to Graham’s most recent statements about the Ukraine scandal, playing a clip of the senator arguing that the president’s administration had an “incoherent” policy toward Ukraine, which is why it was “incapable of forming a quid pro quo” agreement with the country’s authorities.

“Coherence is not particularly evident in Chairman Graham’s position on this impeachment inquiry,” Tapper mocked Graham, before comparing him to former Rep. Earl Landgrebe.

During the Watergate scandal, Landgrebe infamously said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”

Tapper then played a video of Graham memorializing the late Sen. John McCain, wondering whether the South Carolina Republican is trying to “follow in the footsteps” of McCain, as he suggested during the eulogy, or in the footsteps of Landgrebe.

Tapper also revealed during his monologue that Graham refused to appear on his show to discuss “his views of the mounting evidence that President Trump’s team was pushing Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens.”

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The senator said that he was “unavailable,” but nevertheless appeared on Fox News.

Graham is not the only Republican in Congress to have fiercely defended Trump against Democratic accusations. In fact, virtually all Republican lawmakers have defended the president every step of the way, with many of them arguing that the impeachment investigation is yet another attempt to remove Trump from office.

Republicans have, in fact, begun escalating their rhetoric, and alleging that the impeachment inquiry is a “coup” against the president.

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Devin Nunes of California both suggested that the investigation is a “coup” orchestrated by Democrat Adam Schiff.