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Lindsey Graham says he won’t back Mitch McConnell for Senate GOP leader if he doesn’t have a ‘working relationship’ with Trump

Graham said it was a prerequisite for any Republican leader in the House or Senate to "effectively work" with Trump. ...

(L to R) Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Cornyn (R-TX) hold a news conference following their weekly policy luncheon, September 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he will not back Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate Republicans if the latter can't prove that he has a "working relationship" with former President Donald Trump

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham says he won't back Sen. Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate GOP if he doesn't have a "working relationship" with Trump.
  • Graham said any GOP leader in the House of Senate must be able to work "effectively" with Trump.
  • Trump has lashed out at McConnell on various occasions, calling him a "RINO" and giving him the moniker "Old Crow."

Sen. Lindsey Graham has hit out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he will not back McConnell to lead the GOP if the latter does not have a "working relationship" with former President Donald Trump. 

Graham spoke to Fox host Sean Hannity on January 12, where he slammed the Senate minority leader for his broken-down relationship with the former president.

"Elections are about the future. If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump," Graham said.

He added that he saw Trump as "the most consequential Republican since Ronald Reagan," though Trump does not currently hold any public office. 

"It's his nomination if he wants it, and I think he'll get reelected in 2024," Graham said.

"I liked Senator McConnell," Graham added. "But here's the question — can Senator McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party Donald Trump?"  

"I'm not going to vote for anybody for leader of the Senate as a Republican, unless they can prove to me that they can advocate for an America First agenda and have a working relationship with President Trump because if you can't do that, you will fail," Graham said.

Trump has lashed out at McConnell on multiple occasions. This week, Trump called McConnell a "loser" for defending South Dakota GOP Sen. Mike Rounds, who debunked Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

"I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election," McConnell told CNN, prompting Trump's ire. "And I agree with him."

Earlier in November, Trump also slammed McConnell and the Republicans who backed the infrastructure bill in a statement, calling them "RINOs" (Republicans In Name Only) and saying they should be "ashamed of themselves" for voting for "Democrat longevity."

Trump also gave McConnell the moniker "Old Crow" and accused McConnell of "jeopardizing" other Republican senators' re-election chances. Trump further mocked McConnell in a November 13 statement in which he suggested the Kentucky senator should go to the infrastructure bill signing and "put up with the scorn from Great Republican Patriots that are already lambasting him."

McConnell, however, has said that he is "proud" of his vote for Biden's bill and said it would be a "godsend" for his state. 

 

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