Lindsey Graham: McConnell must have a ‘working relationship’ with Trump to lead Senate GOP

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham late Wednesday refused to explicitly say that he would support Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate GOP next Congress, adding that any leader must have a working relationship with former President Donald Trump.

“If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump,” Graham said on Fox News. “He’s the most consequential Republican since Ronald Reagan. It’s his nomination if he wants it, and I’ll think he’ll get reelected in 2024.”

“I like Senator McConnell,” Graham said. “Can Senator McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump? I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t have a working relationship with President Trump.”

“If you can’t do that, you will fail,” Graham added.

McConnell said earlier this week that he plans to run for another term as the top Senate Republican, even as Trump has continued to criticize him. Trump recently lambasted McConnell for his voting for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and working with Democrats to lift the debt ceiling, and Trump. had already criticized him for refusing to endorse Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Several Trump-endorsed Senate candidates have said they will not support McConnell if they win, as other top Senate Republicans have come to McConnell’s defense and broken with Trump.

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