For years, Lindsey Graham was one of the most reasonable Republicans in the Senate. He was fairly moderate, pro-immigration, and decidedly anti-Trump. But after a round of golf with Donald Trump last year, Graham instantly became Trump’s most cartoonish cheerleader, and Graham’s behavior has become more unstable and bizarre ever since. Now we may finally have an understanding of why.
Back in May of 2017, Palmer Report brought you the story of how a Kremlin-connected oligarch used a Super PAC to donate millions of dollars in barely legal money to various prominent Republicans. Months later, the Dallas Morning News reported the same. The largest chunk went to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has long been a Trump apologist, and who worked hard to prevent the Trump-Russia scandal from coming to light. But $800,000 of that money also went to Lindsey Graham.
At the time, Lindsey Graham’s involvement in the oligarch handouts seemed innocuous. After all, Graham was anti-Trump, and nothing about his behavior suggested that he was in any way under the influence of the Russians. But Graham’s subsequent about-face gave away that something wasn’t right; we just didn’t know how Putin might have gotten to him.
This past week, however, a major controversy has erupted surrounding that same Kremlin-connected oligarch. His extensive financial relationship to Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has been exposed, and House Democrats are publicly vowing to use their newfound majority power to get to the bottom of the whole thing. That money trail is going to lead back to McConnell, and it’s going to lead back to Lindsey Graham.
Lindsey Graham surely knows this. Again, the money he tookwas technically legal because the oligarch has dual U.S. citizenship. And it’s not as if someone as powerful as Graham could be bought off for a mere $800,000. But if you make the conscious decision to take barely legal money from a Kremlin oligarch, does anyone believe you’re going to stop there? Whatever Graham is hiding, the money trail from this oligarch is in danger of imminently exposing it. No wonder Graham has gone bonkers.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report