Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) may prove to be even more of a RINO (Republican In Name Only) than even former President Donald Trump suspected as a new book claims the senator threatened use of the 25th Amendment before the dust settled on January 6.
As part of the lead-up to the May release of the new book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future” by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, Axios provided a preview of the subject matter. Meant to cover President Joe Biden’s administration thus far, the authors also discuss a phone call between Graham and then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
According to Martin and Burns, Graham reached out to Cipollone angered by the protestors and told him that without aggressive denouncement of the mob by Trump, “we’ll be asking you for the 25th Amendment” to remove the sitting president with only two weeks remaining in his administration.
The preview does not expressly state how the authors learned of this exchange, but it does cite an interview held with Graham on the afternoon of January 6 where the senator spoke to the reporters. At the time Graham said the incident would be viewed as a turning point.
“People will say, ‘I don’t want to be associated with that’… There will be a rallying effect for a while, the country says: We’re better than this,” Graham told Martin and Burns.
This is not the first time that Graham has been alleged to have made aggressive calls that day. In November the Washington Post published a series on January 6 that claimed Graham yelled at the sergeant-at-arms, “What are you doing? Take back the Senate! You’ve got guns. Use them!”
It was also alleged that Graham had called the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, in a manner suggesting the protestors were controlled by the administration saying in part, “This thing is going south. This is not good. You’re going to have to tell these people to stand down.”
Additionally, Cipollone, the supposed contact on the call, was accused of being a “leaker” to the New York Times in the weeks leading up to January 6 when former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne accused the White House counsel of spreading lies to the press about private meetings with Trump.
“Trump is lied to by his own advisers, who tell staff ‘get the president to concede’ while they stall Trump,” Byrne said in December 2020.
Graham, who expressed his loss of favorability toward Trump after stating, “we’ve had a hell of a journey,” is also alleged to have said that Biden is the right choice for president for this time.
“I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?” Graham is reported as saying.
For his part, Trump has said while Graham may be a nice guy, “he’s a RINO.” He further asserted that the South Carolina senator “doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.”
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