Even before he left the Republican primaries in 2016, South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham has never wavered in his criticism of Donald Trump. He was one of the first politicians to suggest the need for a special prosecutor on all things Russia, and more recently joined a vocal chorus of lawmakers demanding Don Jr. and his associates testify before Congress about their infamous Trump Tower meeting. Now that Trump is publicly berating his former Senate colleague turned Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, it seems Graham’s genteel Southern candor is all but gone.
That’s because the Republican senator didn’t waste any time denouncing Trump’s public denouncements of Sessions with what sounded like a threat. “I am 100 percent behind Jeff Sessions,” he told CNN and other reporters gathered around him. “There will be no confirmation for a new attorney general in 2017. If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. Any effort to go after [Robert] Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.”
The White House maintains that Trump has no intention of firing Jeff Sessions, though other speculate the president may want his recused attorney general to resign — something he is reportedly refusing to do. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, however, is someone whose name has come up several times in reports regarding Trump’s desire to terminate his appointment and, by extension, the ongoing Russia probe. Nevertheless, Graham isn’t buying the president’s apparent “diversion” regarding his treatment of Sessions.
“This is unnerving,” he explained. “It’s unfair to Jeff Sessions. He’s a good man who deserves better, and some of the suggestions the president is making go way beyond what’s acceptable in a rule of law nation.”