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An “unforgiving” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has responded to ex-President Donald Trump’s claim that the South Carolina lawmaker is a RINO, i.e., a Republican in Name Only.
At last Saturday’s rally in Texas, Trump said that he would contemplate pardoning some of the “unfairly treated” individuals who breached the Capitol on January 6, 2021, or who are accused of the same should he run for president and win the White House in 2024.
The next day, Graham went on CBS “Face the Nation” and deemed the pardon idea “inappropriate,” adding that “I don’t want to reinforce that defiling the Capitol was okay. I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future.”
In an interview a few days later on Newsmax, Trump declared about his sometimes golfing buddy that “Lindsey Graham’s wrong. I mean, Lindsey is a nice guy, but’s he’s a RINO.”
In his typical unfiltered style, Trump also asserted that Graham “doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.”
Trump slams Lindsey Graham over Jan. 6 pardon pan: ‘He’s a RINO… doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about’ https://t.co/RKDiZ1R0S7
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) February 2, 2022
In a statement, Graham appeared to indirectly respond to his preferred 2024 presidential candidate in a pivot to his support for law enforcement:
“I stand with the police officers who protect our streets, federal courthouses, and the United States Capitol against rioters. They deserve our respect and support and I will not second-guess the decisions they made under dire circumstances. All Americans are entitled to have a speedy trial and their day in court, but those who actively engage in violence for whatever political cause must be held accountable and not be forgiven.”
In his rally riff, Trump seemed to be alluding to the scenario in which many of the J6 defendants are reportedly being denied standard due process, and in some instances, being held without bail in inhumane conditions.
Conservative firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican congresswoman, also purportedly slammed Graham:
Marge Greene issues a statement today denouncing Lindsey Graham after his interview on ‘Face The Nation’ this morning. pic.twitter.com/xxd44jDJlD
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) January 30, 2022
Whether in the end they are proven guilty or found innocent, most of the J6 defendants reportedly face trespass-related charges. Some have received long jail sentences that critics claim are excessive for their crimes. About 150 have reportedly already pleaded guilty to certain offenses.
At the Texas rally, Trump also implied that most of those who rioted across America during the summer 2020 civil unrest (a cohort that Fox News host Tucker Carlson often refers to as “Joe Biden voters”) got a slap on the wrist from the judicial system, if they were prosecuted at all.
“You have to have equal justice, and this isn’t equal,” Trump insisted.
Lindsey Graham hopes Trump runs again, says ‘there’s magic there’ but he must ‘turn it down a notch’
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) September 26, 2021
Graham is often seen by the grassroots populist base of the party, and those voters who lean toward the GOP, as sometimes MAGA, sometimes RINO.
He is backing the U.S. troop deployment to Eastern Europe, a development that runs counter to the America First philosophy.
I completely support the Biden Administration’s decision to send more U.S. troops to bolster NATO allies in the face of Russian aggression.
It is imperative that NATO meet the moment and that we stand firmly against Putin’s efforts to divide the alliance.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 2, 2022
Graham also seems to be supporting Obama-appointed federal judge Michelle Childs from his home state for the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy to replace the retiring Stephen Breyer.
The senator described Childs as an “awesome person.”
"I can't think of a better person for President Biden to consider for the Supreme Court then Michelle Childs," @LindseyGrahamSC tells @margbrennan. pic.twitter.com/I90qMetX2d
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 30, 2022
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