Donald Trump is not going to be happy with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Unlike most of his colleagues in the GOP these days who are recklessly spreading disinformation about the nation’s top law enforcement agencies, the senator from South Carolina on Sunday said he has “complete confidence” in Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and that “all this stuff about the FBI and DOJ having a bias against Trump and for Clinton needs to be looked at.”
In case you were wondering, “needs to be looked at” is Republican–speak for “shut the hell up.”
Speaking on ABC’s This Week, Graham added that, “I will do whatever it takes to make sure that Mr. Mueller can do his job. We were a rule of law nation before President Trump, we’re going to be a rule of law nation after President Trump.”
The senator’s comments—which notably foreshadow a time when Trump is no longer in the White House—follow a tumultuous week in which The New York Times revealed that Trump wanted to fire Mueller weeks after he was appointed to lead the Russia investigation. That probe reportedly has expanded to obstruction of justice following continuous legally questionable actions by the president.
Mueller was appointed shortly after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey after Comey refused a loyalty oath sought by the president. According to the Times, White House Counsel Donald McGahn refused to implement Trump’s order to request that the Justice Department fire Mueller, and he threatened to quit instead. Trump decided to back down.
The president also reportedly has sought to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and oversees the special counsel.
After Trump fired Comey, he asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a witness in Mueller’s investigation, whom he voted for. The president later attacked McCabe and his wife publicly on Twitter.
Asked about the latest reports regarding his order to fire Mueller in June, Trump said on Friday while at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that it was “fake news.”
“A typical New York Times fake story,” he said.
Graham took a jab at that comment, saying, “We’re not just going to say it’s fake news and move on.” He added, “We know that he didn’t fire Mr. Mueller. We know that if he tried to, it’d be the end of his presidency.”
The senator said he has legislation already drafted to protect Mueller in such a scenario, and that he’d “be glad to pass it tomorrow.”
But Graham wasn’t finished. Next, he attacked one of the pillars of Trump’s campaign, his immigration policy, and his fragile ego: the ridiculous idea of a massive border wall.
“You don’t need $25 billion for a wall,” Graham said. “You need wall systems. You need roads. You need redundancy. You need to fix old fencing. So, we’re not going to build a 1,900–mile wall.”
He also acknowledged that the Republican National Committee should return funds raised by its former finance chair, billionaire casino mogul and accused sexual predator Steve Wynn, who resigned on Saturday after reports that he sexually harassed employees for decades, including forcing some of them to have sex with him.
“We should do of ourselves what we ask of the Democratic Party if these allegations have merit. I don’t think we should have a double standard for ourselves,” Graham said.
All of this has to sting for the president. And it’s probably only a matter of time before Trump responds with a tirade on his favorite medium, Twitter, after Fox News tells him what to say.