Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, has warned former President Donald Trump that the violent insurgency his followers staged against the United States Capitol might be his “political obituary” if he does not recover from his electoral defeat in 2020.
On January 6, as both chambers of Congress gathered to formally recognize President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, Trump, who made false charges about the election process, urged his supporters to “fight like hell” and march to the US Capitol in an attempt to keep him in office.
Hundreds of Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol, with some threatening to hurt or kill key lawmakers such as Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“What I say to him is, ‘Do you want January the 6th to be your political obituary?'” Graham told The New York Times for an article published on Saturday. “‘Because if you don’t get over it, it’s going to be.'”
Trump was asked about the attack on the US Capitol during a July interview on Fox News.
Although the former president avoided explicitly addressing the unrest, he talked highly of his followers who attended a nearby rally just before the uprising.
Trump praised the “spirit and faith and love” of the attendees of the January 6 event, saying “there was such love at that rally.”
He has described Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by a police officer during the Capitol riot, as an “innocent, wonderful, incredible woman.”
Ten House Republicans joined House Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for instigating the January 6 violence. Despite the fact that seven Republicans and every member of the Senate’s Democratic Caucus voted to convict the former president after he was impeached, the 57 votes fell short of the constitutionally required two-thirds majority
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The impeachment and conviction votes were the most bipartisan in US history against a president.
Graham did not vote to convict Trump, but he blamed the bloodshed of January 6 on the former president. In January, the Republican senator said Trump’s “actions were the problem” that led to the attack, and that his reputation had been “tainted.”
He went on to say later in February that Trump would be remembered for the uprising.
“Well, I mean, he’s going to have a place in history for all of this,” Graham told CBS News’s Face the Nation at the time.
Despite his comments, Graham has worked hard to preserve tight ties with former President Obama. Trump, according to the South Carolina lawmaker, remains the modern Republican Party’s dominant character. Graham has declared that the Republican Party is now “the Trump party,” and that the party cannot “go ahead” without the former president.