Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is too busy being “pleased” with President Trump’s agenda to care what Joe Scarborough, or anyone else in the media, thinks about his unlikely friendship with the president.
“The one thing I’m not going to worry about is pleasing Joe Scarborough, that’s not on my list,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday, responding to criticism from the “Morning Joe” co-host. “What I am worried about is making sure that we have the right foreign policy during dangerous times. President Trump has rebuilt the military brine in a way like Ronald Reagan did. He destroyed ISIS, very pleased.”
During “Morning Joe” on Tuesday morning, Scarborough suggested that Graham, who went from Trump critic to ardent supporter in a matter of months, sold his “political soul” in an attempt to get reelected in South Carolina.
“He basically sold his soul, political soul, sold his political soul for, you know, 20 percentage points inside his own Republican Party,” Scarborough said. “Unlike John McCain, Lindsey Graham didn’t have the confidence and the assurance in his voters that he could speak truth to power and still get reelected in his state.”
Scarborough: Lindsey Graham "sold his political soul" to get reelected in 2020 pic.twitter.com/QR0fehD749
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 28, 2019
Several times throughout his interview with Kilmeade, Graham reiterated the importance of his friendship with the late-Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who opposed Trump up until his passing in August and dismissed any notion that he should care what Scarborough — a former Republican lawmaker — thinks of him.
“John McCain was my dearest friend in the Senate, one of my dearest friends in the world. And the one thing I’ve learned from Sen. McCain is that you always put the country ahead of anything else,” he said. “I’m the senator from South Carolina; people want me to help this president. And we have disagreements and when we do I try to work through them. So, cable chatter is just cable chatter. And nothing’s going to change my relationship with Sen. McCain. He was a big influence on my life, taught me a lot bout foreign policy.”
“I don’t feel like I need to defend myself against a cable talk show host on MSNBC,” he continued. “I’m a United States senator representing the people of South Carolina who overwhelming support President Trump.”
Graham has been criticized for breaking with McCain and flipping on his previous criticism of Trump ever since the president took office. Most critics argue that Graham is concerned about what opposing Trump could do for his 2020 reelection bid in a state that’s displayed wide support for Trump.