As he was defending his enduring loyalty to ex-President Donald Trump despite the violent Capitol assault in January, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made a startling observation about Trump’s iron grip on the GOP.
“He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it,” Graham told Axios in an interview clip published on Sunday. “He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse.”
“And he also could destroy it,” he added.
The lawmaker said there was a “dark side” to Trump but also “some magic there.”
“What I’m trying to do is just harness the magic,” Graham said.
The South Carolina Republican said he wants his party “to continue the policies that I think will make America strong.”
“I believe the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump,” he continued.
Several hours after Trump encouraged a mob of his supporters to swarm the Capitol building in what became a deadly insurrection on January 6 to overturn the election results, Graham briefly distanced himself from the former president, saying they “had a hell of a journey” together but “enough is enough.”
However, the senator soon crawled back to Trump, as did most other GOP lawmakers in pursuit of the ex-president’s sweeping political capital in the party ahead of the 2022 midterms.
Trump has been unafraid to attack the few Republicans who’ve held him accountable for inciting the Capitol siege by voting to impeach him, and has been actively working to get them removed from office.