Donald Trump may not have been convicted by the Senate during their impeachment hearing, but it was close. In fact, no other such trial had ever seen so many lawmakers vote against a president from their own party. (And it was still only seven senators — up six from the first time Trump was impeached.) And while many once die hard Trumpists have jumped ship, including Nicki Haley, there’s still one person on his side: Lindsey Graham.
The South Carolina senator went on Fox News Sunday morning, the day after the impeachment trial ended in a relatively narrow acquittal, and he proceeded to sing Trump’s praises as though he hadn’t nearly been convicted for inciting a failed insurrection that still resulted in five lost lives.
"Donald Trump is the most vibrant member of the Republican Party" — Lindsey Graham's interview on Fox News Sunday has major hostage video vibes pic.twitter.com/4vohcotJjK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 14, 2021
“Donald Trump is the most vibrant member of the Republican Party,” Graham told Chris Wallace in a noticeably low-energy appearance. “The Trump movement is alive and well … all I can say is that the most potent force in the Republican Party is President Trump.”
He even said Trump was feeling pretty good after narrowly avoiding conviction. “I spoke to him last night; he was grateful to his lawyers. He appreciated the help that all of us provided. You know, he’s ready to move on and rebuild the Republican Party,” Graham said. “He’s excited about 2022. And I’m going to go down to talk with him next week, play a little golf in Florida. And I said, ‘Mr. President this MAGA movement needs to continue, we need to unite the party.’ ”
Graham also suggested that, should the GOP take back the House in 2022, they’ll enact revenge not on Biden but his VP. “If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House,” he said, “because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open.”
It’s a marked shift from the Graham on display immediately following the failed MAGA coup, in which an army of Trump supporters, hopped up on baseless lies about nonexistent voter fraud, stormed the Capitol. After the Senate convened, a visibly shaked Graham seemed to disavow Trump, saying, “All I can say is enough is enough, count me out.” Whatever it was, it didn’t last long. Graham was back to spending time with Trump during his final days in office. Apparently enough wasn’t enough.