Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on FOX News to discuss Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation and who should replace him with host Martha MacCallum. Graham also warned Trump of working with someone like Nancy Pelosi, likely the next House Speaker, saying she “finds evil at every turn” as a Trump hater.
“He deserves someone that he trusts that he has confidence in but the American people also have to have confidence in this person and they got to get through the Senate,” he said.
Graham weighed in on Michael Moore calling on the Democratic party to nominate a “beloved” American like former First Lady Michelle Obama and not a politician. The Senator called Obama a “formidable candidate,” but said it would be “hard to beat Trump” in 2020.
“The Michelle Obama is a very talented person,” he said. “I’m she would be a formidable candidate. It’s going to be hard to beat Trump. And one of the reasons President Trump is doing so well is because some people like Michael Moore who remind us at every turn what would happen if you put the Democrats in charge.”
“I’m all in for Trump and here’s my advice to the Democratic Party, keep listening to Michael Moore, he will steer you in the right direction,” Graham said.
Graham said Sessions should seek a Senate seat.
“I’ve known Jeff for a long time,” he said. “I hope he goes and runs for his old Senate seat in Alabama. It’s clear to me it was not working between Attorney General Sessions and President Trump.”
Transcript, via FOX News:
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Right
MACCALLUM: Senator, always good to have you with us. Thank you for being here.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You heard the reaction from Senator Joe Manchin, and I will just remind you, as many have been reminding you today of what you said back in July, 2017. Here’s this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay. Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So given where we are now, what do you say now?
GRAHAM: So when was that? What year?
MACCALLUM: July of 2017. Things have changed.
GRAHAM: So, what I have been — yes. So, what I’ve been saying for months is that everybody, every president deserves an attorney general they have confidence in and they can work with. I like Jeff Sessions, I’ve known Jeff for a long time. I hope he goes and runs for his old Senate seat in Alabama.
It’s clear to me it’s not working, was not working between Attorney General Sessions and President Trump. So, for months I’ve been saying, after the election, if the president wants to change attorney generals, he has every right to do so.
I spent most of the morning with the president, to my good friend, Joe Manchin, congratulations on winning your race, I am not alarmed at all about Mueller being interfered with. I think Mr. Whitaker was a good pick, I think he is going to be as fair as impartial as Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch were.
The bottom line is this is hysteria more than it is anything else. I am here to tell you and everybody else that Mr. Mueller will be allowed to do his job and hopefully that investigation will come to a conclusion here pretty soon.
MACCALLUM: Here’s what Nancy Pelosi said, she said, “It’s impossible to read Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing as anything another blatant attempt by President Trump to undermine and end the special counsel’s investigation.”
MACCALLUM: Did he give any assurances; did you discuss this at all today anything you could share with us with regard to that?
GRAHAM: I am highly confident that the attorney — the interim attorney general is going to honor the ability of Mr. Mueller to finish his job. I hope he will do it sooner rather than later.
And Nancy Pelosi is looking this, at this through the eyes of somebody who hates Trump. That finds evil at every turn. That’s the San Francisco perspective. I can assure you, if the shoe were on the other foot, and this was a Democratic president wanting to pick a new attorney general, nobody would say much about it at all.
MACCALLUM: Is there any chance that Matt Whitaker, who as I’m sure you have been, you know, hearing about, has said a few things that have raised eyebrows, in terms of the scope of the investigation. He had said that it shouldn’t go outside of the campaign, it should not extend into the finances of the Trump family. And of President Trump, he just, you know, thinks that that’s out of the purview of where this investigation has gotten.
Is there anything in what he said in the past that concerns you about his ability to be the interim attorney general, or indicates to you that he has any intention of limiting this investigation in any way?
GRAHAM: Absolutely not. The point he was making is that the special counsel doesn’t have writ-at-large. He is confined I think to his mandate not less to investigate whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election in an illegal way. Whether or not there was any obstruction of justice. Not to look at every deal that the president had as a private citizen before he became a candidate. I agree with that.
But here is the point. Mr. Mueller, I think is in the final stages of doing his report. I have a lot of confidence in Bob Mueller. I’m going to meet with the interim attorney general, Mr. Whitaker next week, and I’m going to have him assure me that he is going to let Mr. Mueller do his job, and if there is any interference, he will be the first to hear about it on Fox News. I don’t think that is going to happen. I’m not concerned about that. If I were, I would tell you.
MACCALLUM: Do you think that Mark — that Matt Whitaker is going to be an interim attorney general as he is right now, or that it’s possible that he could keep that position? I guess, look ahead to the confirmation process for me. A number of names that have been put out there.
MACCALLUM: Chris Christie, Pam Bondi, Trey Gowdy, also mentioned on that list. How do you see this working out?
GRAHAM: I’d hate I to have to choose between those three because they’re all such good candidates. I talked to pretty good at length with the president about the attorney general’s election. He deserves someone that he trusts, that he has confidence in, but the American people also have to have confidence in this person and they got to get through the Senate.
We are going to have to increase majority in the United States Senate. I don’t expect many Democrats to help. You know, everybody who is talking about Jeff Sessions now on the Democratic side all voted against him, so this is just politics. Joe Manchin to his credit voted for Jeff Sessions.
So there are a lot of names, and you mentioned three. There’s a lot more than that. May be Mr. Whitaker makes his way on the list, I don’t know.
But I do know this. I voted for Holder and I voted for Lynch because I think every president deserves the ability to make qualified appointments including Donald Trump. Brett Kavanaugh was qualified by any measure. What they try to do to him was despicable. So, I’m going to stand by this president’s ability to make selection of his choosing.
MACCALLUM: Yes, you know, I wonder if you think going through this process of a new attorney general could turn into a similar thing than what we saw in the Kavanaugh investigation, or do you think that the election that we saw this week has maybe changed some people’s minds about how to go about that.
GRAHAM: Well, the second kick of a mule normally doesn’t help you. If you don’t realize by now that the effort to destroy Brett Kavanaugh by liberal Democrats on the judiciary committee actually destroyed Trump’s state Republicans, then you are not really paying much attention to what happened.
So, there will be a pick by the president, he will have the same right as President Obama and every other president, to pick somebody that he has confidence in and they have to get confirmed. If they try to do to the attorney general what they did do Brett Kavanaugh, then it will backfire as it did with Kavanaugh.
MACCALLUM: All right. Before I let you go, as you know, after the midterms, the day after pretty much the midterm–
MACCALLUM: — the presidential 2020 race sort of begins.
MACCALLUM: And Michael Moore, I don’t know, you know, if you listen to much to what he has to say–
MACCALLUM: — but you know, everybody pretty much weighs in at this point.
GRAHAM: I follow it closely.
MACCALLUM: I am sure you do. So, he thinks President Trump is a tumor on our democracy. That was one of the nicer things that he said. And he also has some suggestions for who he thinks should be the candidate in 2020. Listen to this and let me know what you think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: We have to run a beloved American.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
MOORE: We have to run a beloved — Obama became beloved from the night of that convention and he was beloved from that moment on when he gave that speech. So, we need to have to run somebody–
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have (Inaudible)?
MOORE: Whether it’s got to be like Michelle Obama, or it’s got to be (Inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: What do you think about those ideas so far, senator?
GRAHAM: The Michelle Obama is a very talented person. I’m sure she would be a formidable candidate. It’s going to be hard to beat Trump. One of the reasons President Trump is doing so well is because of people like Michael Moore who remind us at every turn what would happen if you put the Democrats in charge. People like Michael Moore would have a bigger say in your life. Not many people are jumping up and down at the idea that Michael Moore will be a frequent guest to the White House.
MACCALLUM: Well, but he is feeling pretty good because he looked at the midterms and says, you know, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin all turned blue.
MACCALLUM: Those are formidable changes that we saw in the midterms in terms of 2020. A quick thought on that for me.
GRAHAM: I think President Trump is going to be hard to beat. Midterms weighed, basically defied expectations. We actually grew the majority in the Senate. Name one time that has happened, maybe once in the last 100 years. And the losses in the house were a lot less than historical.
So, I’m ready to govern, and I’m ready for 2020, I’m all in for Trump. And here’s my advice for the Democratic Party, keep listening to Michael Moore, he will steer you in the right direction.
MACCALLUM: Senator Lindsey Graham, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
GRAHAM: Thank you. Thank you very much.