WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., stated Thursday that the Republican Party can not proceed without former President Donald Trump.
“I would just say to my Republican colleagues: ‘Can we move forward without President Trump?’ The answer is no,” Graham stated in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Graham, who turned a detailed ally of Trump throughout his presidency, made the comment ahead of an expected vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as chair of the House Republican Conference next week due to her efforts to publicly denounce Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney, but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him,” Graham informed Hannity.
People are interested in the “Trump Republican Party,” Graham stated, due to financial populism and the “America first” agenda.
“If you don’t get that as a Republican, you’re making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party,” he stated. “The reason our party is growing with minorities and with working men and women is because President Trump appears to be on the side of people working really hard, appears to be on the side of opportunity not dependency, because he is.”
Graham was a fierce defender of Trump all through his 4 years in workplace, although that got here after the South Carolina Republican voiced warnings about the businessman-turned-politician throughout the 2016 presidential marketing campaign. Graham additionally ran for the GOP nomination that 12 months, throughout which period he claimed a Trump presidency would result in one other 9/11 assault.
After the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, Graham stated on the Senate flooring that Biden’s election was respectable and criticized Trump for his efforts to solid doubt on the consequence.
“Trump and I, we have had a hell of a journey,” Graham stated. “I hate it to finish this manner. Oh my God, I hate it. From my standpoint he is been been a consequential president. But at the moment, very first thing you will see. All I can say, is depend me out, sufficient is sufficient.”
In order for Cheney to be eliminated as the third-ranking Republican in the House, a movement must be raised earlier than the convention, which is able to then must vote. That may occur as early as May 12, when the House is again in session and Republicans are more likely to maintain their subsequent convention assembly.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who has vigorously defended Trump and in current days promoted his baseless claims of election fraud, has emerged as a attainable front-runner to interchange Cheney. Both Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise publicly backed Stefanik on Wednesday, whereas House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was heard telling “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy off-air forward of a reside interview Tuesday that he has “misplaced confidence” in Cheney.
“I’ve had it together with her. You know, I’ve misplaced confidence,” McCarthy stated in the recording, which was reported by Axios and has not been obtained by NBC News. “Well, somebody simply has to deliver a movement, however I assume that may in all probability happen.”
Cheney won’t step down from her management function, her spokesman stated Wednesday.
In a Washington Post op-ed article published Wednesday afternoon, Cheney argued: “While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might sound enticing to some for fundraising and political functions, that method will do profound long-term harm to our get together and our nation.”
Cheney voted in January to question Trump over his function in inciting the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. She has since come underneath fireplace for that vote and her efforts to talk out in opposition to the former president.