While Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once described President Donald Trump as a “jackass” and an “idiot,” the South Carolina senior senator has recently become rather chummy with Trump, bonding over their shared efforts to repeal Obamacare with the Graham-Cassidy bill. The pair even played golf together twice in the same week.
The newly forged friendship may have something to do with Graham’s lukewarm reaction to Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker’s (R-TN) highly critical and public condemnation of Trump, his behavior and his policies in recent days.
Saying he likes Flake “a lot” and his impending retirement will be a “loss to the Senate,” Graham admitted he does share Flake’s “concerns about what the President said, about the way he behaves,” according to Vanity Fair’s Hive.
“The election is over. I’m focused on results, and that’s why I’m here. I’d rather not be a constant critic. I’ll stand up when I need to, but I’m trying to get taxes cut,” he said.
Graham also said repealing Obamacare and “win(ning) a war we can’t afford to lose” are why he won’t take Flake’s advice on standing up to Trump.
Earlier this week, Graham told The Washington Post that it’s important to “keep talking” to Trump and “keep him close.”
Flake announced his retirement during a scathing speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, saying his party needs to stop “pretending” like Trump’s behavior is normal. Corker has been highly critical of Trump for weeks now — ever since announcing his retirement — saying he would not support Trump again and calling the White House an “adult day care.”