Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had no patience for NBC News reporter Geoff Bennett when asked about a possible “conflict of interest” with him being close to President Donald Trump while chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“You brought up [former Attorney General] Jeff Sessions’s clear conflict of interest, and yet I’m told you delivered a rousing speech at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend,” the reporter asked during a Monday press conference. “Is that kind of public closeness with the president appropriate? Does it not at least give the appearance of a conflict of interest, given your role in chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee?”
Graham was flabbergasted.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” the Republican lawmaker spewed. “Did anybody ever ask during the Clinton impeachment that a Democrat was conflicted on speaking out on behalf of the president?”
“I am an elected political official,” Graham continued. “I am a Republican, I am going all over the country to speak to the Republican Party. I want Trump to win.”
With Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, facing pressure from the GOP and the White House to step down for insisting there was evidence to prove Trump colluded with Russia, it’s not hard to fathom Bennett’s thought process.
Graham went on to remind the press that he supported Mueller’s investigation.
“I’m chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I do my job very responsibly,” he said. “This committee is going to allow Mr. Barr to come forward and tell us and answer some of the questions you’ve asked. I’m asking him to lay it all out. I stood by Mr. Mueller because I believe in the rule of law.”
(Graham spoke to Attorney General William Barr on Monday and Barr said he was willing to appear before the committee.)
“There’s politics, and there’s the rule of law,” he added, before slamming the inquiry altogether. “So to suggest that if you’re a Republican and that you want Trump to win, somehow you can’t do your job is absurd.”
Not to be deterred, another reporter then asked, “You also golf with him, though, right?”
“Oh yes, and I play terribly,” the unimpressed senator shot back, with a broad smile.
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