Graham Tries To Invoke Sympathy From Media While Decrying IG Report Coverage

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talks with reporters as he walks through the Senate Subway to vote at the U.S. Capitol on November 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Senate is expected to vot... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talks with reporters as he walks through the Senate Subway to vote at the U.S. Capitol on November 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Senate is expected to vote on and pass a continuing resolution to fund the government through the middle of December. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 11, 2019 3:16 p.m.

Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) offered some serious spin during his opening statement for the hearing on the Justice Department inspector general report on Wednesday, including targeting the media for not covering the inspector general’s report how he believes it should be covered.

But in the same breath, Graham also attempted to curry empathy from reporters, a tactic other Republicans tackling impeachment have employed in recent weeks.

During his opening statement on Wednesday, Graham lashed out at reporters for what he believes to be unfair reports on the findings outlined in Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report.

“I remember reading all these headlines, ‘lawful investigation with a few irregularities,’ ‘everything okay, low-level people kind of got off track.’ If that’s what you get out of this report, you clearly didn’t read it,” Graham said. “If that’s your takeaway, that this thing was lawfully predicated and that’s the main point, you missed the entire report. How do you get a headline like that? That’s what you want it to be.”

Later, during a hearing recess, Graham posted a tweet critical of Capitol Hill reporters’ line of questioning.

While it’s not uncommon for a Republican to take out his or her frustrations on media coverage, as President Trump has essentially defined his presidency with cries of “fake news,” the targeting is questionable, given Graham’s attempts to also invoke sympathy from journalists by questioning whether reporters would like be surveilled by the government the way Carter Page was.

“A few irregularities. How would you like this to happen in your life? How would you like to be on the receiving end of this,” Graham said with an oddly impassioned defense of Page. “To our people in the news business, how would you like this to be your news organization?”

Correction: This post originally identified Graham as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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