In a relatively short span of time, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has gone from one of Donald Trump’s loudest critics to one of Trump’s most over-the-top cheerleaders. His sudden praise for Trump has been cartoonish and absurd, and no one believes that there are above-board reasons for the one-eighty. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest Graham is being blackmailed – and now he almost seems to be trying to signal to us that this is the case.
First game Graham’s seemingly conscious decision to recycle and invert his own signature word about Trump. After having famously called Trump a “kook,” Graham recently began lashing out at anyone who may have called Trump a “kook.” Of course he’s referring to himself here. Graham is too savvy not to realize what he was doing when he inverted this. Was he trying to signal to us that something is wrong? Then came his appearance on The View this week.
It was strange enough that Lindsey Graham decided to appear on The View to defend Trump. He had already made his point with his past few weeks of suspiciously pro-Trump rhetoric; why risk exposing himself to cross examination? Sure enough, Graham’s on-air rationales in defense of Trump were awful. Really awful. He said Trump isn’t a racist anymore because he’s the president now. He said other things that made even less sense. Graham isn’t this stupid, nor has he spent his political career being this unprepared to answer the obvious questions. These answers felt purposely vapid, an attempt at sounding as stupid as possible, as if Graham were one again trying to cry for help.
During the 2016 election, Lindsey Graham admitted to CNN that his emails had been hacked. Those emails never did publicly surface. Do the Russians have those emails, and is Donald Trump using it to blackmail him into doing his bidding? It’s also well documented that Graham took a technically legal but suspicious $800,000 political donation in 2016 from a Kremlin oligarch with dual U.S. citizenship. That wouldn’t be enough to buy off someone like Graham – but it could be the incision point for how the Russians got their hooks into him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report