Donald Trump is “blackmailing” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a political author claims.
Don Winslow, a best selling author of historical nonfiction and mystery novels, wrote on Twitter that sources in the Department of Justice confirmed to him that Trump is blackmailing Graham. It is a claim that Winslow has made in the past, taking note of Graham’s abrupt turn from one of the most vocal critics of Trump on the right to one of his most vehement backers.
Back in October, Winslow hinted that Trump has “personal” information about Graham that could be incredibly damaging were it to come out, and is using it to force the Republican senator to speak out in his defense.
“Have you wondered why @LindseyGrahamSC has been defending @realDonaldTrump like his life depended on it? A friend in federal law enforcement told me about a certain threat @realDonaldTrump has made to Graham,” Winslow tweeted. “It’s personal. It’s awful. And it’s working very well.”
Others have made similar claims. Back in January, MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle implied that Trump was blackmailing Graham with some kind of unknown dirt.
“It could be that Donald Trump or somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham,” Ruhle said, via WFTL. “We’re gonna leave it there.”
Ruhle did not offer evidence to back her claim and did not give any hint about what the blackmail could be.
Other political opponents have hinted in more vague terms that Graham is being leveraged in some way. As Vox reported, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar suggested that Graham was “compromised” into supporting Trump. The report noted that Graham had previously revealed that his email account was hacked by the Russian government, a revelation that has been used as the basis for claims that he is compromised into supporting Trump.
Graham has been one of the most important allies for Donald Trump. During the U.S. Senate’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last year, Graham attacked Democrats who questioned past claims of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, ultimately helping to push through his nomination.
In recent weeks, Graham has been leading the defense of Trump during the impeachment process, frequently attacking Democrats with claims that the process has been unfair to Trump and Republicans. Graham has hinted that Republicans in the Senate will remain committed to Trump, signaling that the president is not at risk of being removed from office even with the expected impeachment from the House of Representatives.