Tag Archives: Lindsey Graham

Graham: New AG ‘comfortable’ with Russia probe

Lindsey “The Lap Dog” Graham, a South Carolina Republican U.S. senator who once dared to challenge Donald Trump’s competence and moral standing, now says the president’s new attorney general is comfortable with an investigation under way into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives in 2016.

OK, then. How in the world are we supposed to believe that.

Acting AG Matthew Whitaker is on record calling special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” and a “fraud.” Trump appointed him as acting attorney general after firing Jeff Sessions solely because Sessions recused himself from the Russia matter.

Now the senator wants us to believe (a) that Whitaker is OK with Mueller’s probe and (b) the president won’t order Whitaker to give Mueller the axe.

I don’t believe the first thing. The second matter, whether Trump will commit a supremely foolish act, is anyone’s guess. No one can predict what the president will do, not even Sen. Graham.

Whitaker’s appointment to lead the Justice Department fills me with dread. I fear the president will move to coerce Whitaker into forcing Mueller out. I also fear that Whitaker will do the president’s bidding. The result of all this will produce the mother of constitutional crises; believe me when I say that I do not want that to happen.

Moreover, given Sen. Graham’s dramatic change of heart regarding the president, I am disinclined to believe anything he says as well. Back when he was running against Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, he spoke candidly about Trump’s credentials for the nation’s top job — or, more to the point, the absence of credentials.

Then Trump vanquished him. He got elected president. Now the senator has been slobbering all over Trump’s shoes, seeking to please him, possibly because he wants to become attorney general.

Is the senator to be believed now? I don’t think so.

Meanwhile, the Russia drama continues to play out.

I’ll just implore the powers that be — one more time! — to let Robert Mueller do his job. Let him finish his work.

Where is Sen. Graham’s spine?

What in the name of political courage has become of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican that I used to admire.

Graham at one time issued a stern warning to Donald J. Trump, saying the president would have “hell to pay” were he to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Well, Trump fired Sessions on Wednesday, the day after the midterm election. Graham’s message was, shall we say, decidedly less confrontational.

“I look forward to working with President Trump to find a confirmable, worthy successor so that we can start a new chapter at the Department of Justice … ” Graham said in one of the more milquetoast-y statements in recent memory.

He also once said that any effort to remove special counsel Robert Mueller, derailing his exhaustive investigation into the Russian attack on our electoral system in 2016 could “be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”

Guess what, senator. Sessions’s firing and the elevation of Matthew Whittaker as acting AG just might bode poorly for the future of Mueller’s probe.

I should note that Graham was one of a horde of Republicans who ran against Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016. Back when they were foes, Graham spoke rough and tough about Trump, just as so many other foes did. Trump beat them and now they have become sycophants, yes men.

I am believing they are cowed by the president, who has hijacked a party with which he had zero affiliation before he ran for the nation’s highest office.

That includes Lindsey Graham.

I’ll just call it what it is: chickensh**!

Birthright citizenship far from ‘absurd’

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is trying to cover Donald Trump’s backside with a plan to introduce legislation in the Senate to reverse a constitutional amendment that provides U.S. citizenship to anyone born inside the United States of America.

Nice try, senator.

Trump declared his desire to issue an executive order that would end the right of instant citizenship to anyone born here. The big problem facing the nutty idea is that the rule comes to us in the form of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868.

Now it’s an “absurd” notion, according to Sen. Graham, who wrote in a Twitter message: “Finally, a president willing to take on this absurd policy of birthright citizenship. I’ve always supported comprehensive immigration reform — at the same time — the elimination of birthright citizenship.”

Graham jumps in

In order to amend the Constitution, this legislation needs a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and must be ratified by three-quarters of the 50 states. It is a steep hill to be sure.

It’s also a ridiculous and gratuitous attack on a U.S. tradition that has been part of the law of the land for 150 years.

Donald Trump has sought to demonize all illegal immigrants, even those who were brought here as children by their parents — and now those who were born here to parents who came this country illegally. He suggests that all illegal immigrants come here to do harm, to commit crimes, to perform terrible acts of violence.

This is the answer? This is the solution?

No. It isn’t.

Good grief, if we’re going to get tougher on illegal immigration, then let’s use existing laws and modernize security policies. We don’t need to build a wall along our southern border.

Nor do we need to repeal the clause contained in an existing amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Such flipping and flopping on AG Sessions

“We need an attorney general that can work with the president, that can lead the Department of Justice. This relationship is beyond repair, I think.”

So said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who in an earlier incarnation said something quite different about the president of the United States.

Graham said in the not-too-distant pass that there would be “hell to pay” in Congress if Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I actually agree with both things that Graham said. Yes, there will be “hell to pay.”

Also, the president must be able to work with the AG, but working with someone doesn’t necessarily require total, blind and unabiding fealty to whatever the top man wants.

Sessions has taken an oath to follow the law, just as the president has taken a similar oath. To my mind, Sessions followed the law when he recused himself from the Russia probe, given the obvious conflict of interest that would have existed had Sessions led an investigation into alleged collusion between Russians and the Trump presidential campaign. Sessions was a key player in the Trump campaign, so there was no way on Earth that Sessions could investigate himself.

Graham, himself a lawyer and an officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, knows that as well.

I don’t believe Sessions will be on the job by the end of the year. I also believe Donald Trump is foolish enough to fire him and open himself up to accusations of obstruction of justice.

Yes, there will be “hell to pay.”

Sen. Graham then and now on impeachment

Darn that public domain. Sometimes it can come back and bite public officials in the backside.

Take it away, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The South Carolina Republican once helped prosecute President Bill Clinton when the 42nd president was being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. Graham was a House member at the time.

He said way back then, “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role.” He added, “Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

MSNBC commentator Lawrence O’Donnell dug up Graham’s former view of impeachment. Of course, that was when a Democratic president got into trouble. The GOP lawmaker had a different view about impeachment than he does today.

It seems that Sen. Graham thinks a president must be charged with an actual crime to be impeached.

According to The Hill: Graham said in a statement Tuesday that “the American legal system is working its will” but that “there have yet to be charges or convictions for colluding with the Russian government by any member of the Trump campaign” after another Trump associate, Paul Manafort, was found guilty of eight charges related to financial crimes.

Which is it, Sen. Graham? O’Donnell is imploring reporters to question Graham carefully about his apparent change of heart, mind or whatever.

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is now a convicted felon. There well might be much more to come from special counsel Robert Mueller as he continues his probe into Russian involvement in our 2016 presidential election.

As for Graham’s earlier statements about “cleansing” the presidency, I have to agree that the current president has soiled it in many ways. The current president is absolutely lacking in “honor and integrity” at almost any level one can imagine.

I certainly will await Sen. Graham’s explanation on how his view on the basis for impeachment has, um, evolved.

Pain in the ass? Yes! Proudly!

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has delivered a stunning rebuke to Donald Trump’s bogus and idiotic assertion that the media are “the enemy of the people.” Thus, I hereby nominate the South Carolina Republican’s retort as “Quote of the Year.”

Graham was talking to reporters today in South Carolina when he said the following, according to The Hill:

“I think the press in America is a check and balance on power,” Graham said Monday afternoon in South Carolina. “I think sometimes you get tribal like the rest of the country. Sometimes you can be a pain in the ass, but you’re not the enemy of the people. As a matter of fact, without a free press, I wouldn’t want to live in that country.”

“But you can be a pain in the ass,” he reiterated while laughing. “But you’re supposed to be.”

The president repeated his view of the press on Sunday morning, tweeting to his 53.5 million followers that he is “providing a great service” by explaining to Americans that the “fake news” media is the enemy of the people, adding that the Fourth Estate “can cause war” without specifying what he meant.

There you have it: “Sometimes you can be a pain in the ass.”

That’s the media’s role. To put it another way, as many in the media say about the mission of their craft: Their role is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

Presidents and other politicians of both political parties have known all along that the media’s role isn’t to glorify politicians. It is to hold them accountable on behalf of the public they take an oath to serve.

The most notable exception, of course, happens to be the current president of the United States.


‘Probably’ shouldn’t say Spygate? C’mon, Sen. Graham

Lindsey Graham can do better than this.

The South Carolina Republican U.S. senator says that Donald Trump “probably shouldn’t” use the term “Spygate” to level an accusation that the FBI planted someone inside his presidential campaign for political purposes.

Actually, Trump is defaming the FBI yet again by making an assertion without the hint of evidence that what he is saying is true.

Trump most clearly shouldn’t use such language to describe what the FBI might have done, which is to probe questions that arose during the 2016 campaign that Russians were meddling in our election and trying to turn the tables in Trump’s favor.

Rather than welcome an FBI investigation into that allegation, Trump has decided to declare political war against the law enforcement agency and leaders at the top of the Department of Justice.

He is seeking to discredit the special counsel’s probe. He has launched a scorched-Earth campaign against the FBI. He has introduced the term “spy” to describe the FBI’s effort to get to the bottom of the Russia meddling caper.

Graham offered radio host Hugh Hewitt a milquetoast response to the question about the Trump’s reckless language: “I don’t know. Probably not, but I don’t know,” he said. “I didn’t go to the meeting. I don’t think it’s — I don’t think he’s a spy. And I don’t know who this person was.”

Trump’s continuing campaign against the FBI is a disgrace.

Who can we believe regarding POTUS’s gutter mouth?

It’s come down to this: No longer can I take a single thing that Donald John Trump Sr. says at face value.

I do not believe unequivocally a single statement he can make.

Take his recent use of the term “sh**hole” to describe Africa, Haiti and El Salvador. He denies saying it. This morning, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who was in the room when the president said it actually stood with Trump in his denial.

Others in the room — Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill. — said Trump used the term. Durbin said he uttered the term “repeatedly” while talking about immigration.

Trump’s lying is so pervasive, so inclusive, so very disturbing that I’ve crossed a key threshold that now casts into doubt every single utterance that flies out of his mouth.

My state of disbelief rivals how I used to feel about a one-time Amarillo, Texas, figure. I refer to the late Stanley Marsh 3, the eccentric millionaire artisan/lawyer/goofball who in his day did some mighty strange things.

The Weather Channel came here in the early 2000s to cover a weather-related event and while the TV weatherman was on the air, Marsh — while wearing a feathered head dress — started prancing around in the background doing some sort of Native American dance.

Marsh was the strangest of strange dudes. It got so weird that there came a time when there wasn’t a single thing one could say about Marsh that I could dismiss out of hand.

“Hey, did you hear that Stanley flew to Mars and brought a Martian back to Earth with him.” I always felt in the deepest part of my gut, “You know … I wouldn’t put it past him.”

And so it is with Donald Trump. The man has been heard in public using filthy language. He referred to pro football players protesting police conduct against African-Americans as “sons of bi*****. ” He has used what my father used to call “the functional four-letter word” on more than one occasion since becoming a politician. He has done the same with the scatological term as well.

So, when he denies calling certain nations of the world “sh**hole” countries, well … I don’t believe his denial.

The man is a liar.

Not the dumbest idea, but it’s close

Lindsey Graham said this in response today to a question about a joint U.S.-Russia initiative to combat cyber hacking: “It’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s pretty close.”

That was among some of the critiques that the South Carolina Republican U.S. senator offered on Donald J. Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Hamburg, Germany.

Graham went on during his interview with “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd: “He gave a really good speech in Poland, President Trump did, and he had what I think is a disastrous meeting with President Putin. Two hours and 15 minutes of meetings. (Secretary of State Rex) Tillerson and Trump are ready to forgive and forget when it comes to cyber-attacks on the American election of 2016.”

Donald Trump, to no one’s surprise, is calling his second overseas trip as president a success. The Putin meeting, by many accounts, was anything but a victory for the president. He “pressed” Putin on allegations that Russian government officials meddled in our 2016 election; Putin denied it. Then the two men announce this joint effort to combat cyber attacks? Are you kidding? Sadly, no. They aren’t.

Trump once again revealed that he appears to be the only world leader on the planet who refuses to accept that Russia launched an attack on our electoral process. He keeps giving the Russians cover. He keeps saying things like “We don’t really know” who is responsible for the hacking of our system. Actually, a lot of intelligence experts in this country do know who did it. They say it’s the Russians.

Meanwhile, U.S. politicians from both political parties are demanding that Russia be held accountable for what they did. Instead, the president wants to form a partnership with them to put an end to the Russians’ effort to subvert our electoral system?

I agree with Sen. Graham. It’s a pretty damn dumb idea.

Sen. Graham tells it bluntly about Trump, Russia

Donald J. Trump needs to hear a lot more blunt talk from members of his own political party.

He got it today from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, who pulled zero punches when talking about the president’s “blind spot” as it regards Russia, Vladimir Putin and the Russian effort to undermine our electoral process.

Sen. Graham said this, among other things, on “Meet the Press” this morning: “When it comes to Russia, I am dumbfounded,” Graham said of Trump’s actions. “I am disappointed and, at the end of the day, he’s hurting his presidency by not embracing the fact that Putin’s a bad guy who tried to undercut our democracy and he’s doing it all over the world. He is literally the only person that I know of that has any doubt about what Russia did in 2016.”

Read more of what Graham said here.

The reality is that the president and Putin met in Hamburg, Germany, in advance of the G20 summit and Trump has decided it’s now time to “move forward” after hearing Putin deny Russian effort to meddle in our 2016 presidential election.

That’s it. Vlad says he didn’t do anything and that’s good enough for me … or so Trump seems to be saying.

Graham is having none of it. Nor should he. Nor should the intelligence professionals who have concluded that the Russians sought to influence the election outcome.

I agree with Graham, moreover, that whatever the Russians did likely didn’t affect the outcome. Trump was elected fair and square. However, the point of Graham’s tirade is that Trump shouldn’t accept Putin’s denial while denigrating — on foreign soil, no less — the U.S. intelligence apparatus’s capability, which Trump did in Hamburg.

Will any of this straight talk matter to the president? No one believes it will change this man’s point of view. His blind spot toward Russia and Putin, though, is “hurting his presidency.”

That means, to me, that he’s hurting the nation.