Lindsey Graham compares Donald Trump to Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum and says he could ‘destroy’ the Republican Party

 South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in a new interview compares Donald Trump to the famous American showman P.T. Barnum – and stated that his golf partner and friend could 'destroy' the Republican Party.

Graham made the comments in an Axios interview where he reflected on his own failure to temper his support for Trump even after the Capitol riot – and spoke of Trump's ability to either build up or tear down the party he has effectively coopted. 

'Mitt Romney didn't do it, John McCain didn't do it — there's something about Trump,' Graham reflected. 'There's a dark side, and there's some magic there. What I'm trying to do is just harness the magic.' 

'He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it,' Sen. Lindsey Graham said of what Donald Trump could do to the Republican Party

'He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it,' Sen. Lindsey Graham said of what Donald Trump could do to the Republican Party

'To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helm, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum. It's just this bigger than life deal,' he said, bringing up the former president who Trump and most elected Republicans regularly salute as well as the former North Carolina GOP senator who was a divisive figure in the 1970s and 1980s over his opposition to civil rights and gay rights legislation. 

'He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it,' said Graham. 'He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.'

The Republican also spoke about his curious friendship with Trump, which emerged after vicious attacks between the two men during the 2016 presidential primaries.  

'Donald Trump was my friend before the riot. And I’m trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot. I still consider him a friend.'

Graham has maintained his friendship with former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6th Capitol riot

Graham has maintained his friendship with former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6th Capitol riot

He compared Trump to the late Sen. Jess Helms (R-N.C.)

He compared Trump to the late Sen. Jess Helms (R-N.C.)

Graham also compared Trump to P.T. Barnum

Graham also compared Trump to P.T. Barnum

''To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helm, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum'

''To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helm, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum' 

'Enough is enough, count me out:' Graham deboards the Trump train
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'What happened was a dark day in American history, and we’re going to move forward,' he said of the Capitol riot, which would later bring on an impeachment trial over 'incitement of insurrection' with Trump getting acquitted.

'So here’s what you need to know about me: I want this to continue — I want us to continue the policies that I think will make America strong. I believe the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump,' Graham said.

 He also pushed back when interviewer Jonathan Swan noted that Trump continues to claim he won the election.

'I tell him every day that he wants to listen that I think the main reason he lost in Arizona is beating on the dead guy called John McCain,' Graham said of his longtime friend in the Senate.

He observed that he could go after Trump if he wanted to. 'My election's over. I could throw him over tomorrow,' he said. 

Graham said Jan. 6th in a speech about accepting votes certified by the states following the riot: 'I just think it’s a uniquely bad idea to delay this election. Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say is a count me out. Enough is enough,' he said.

Lindsey Graham compares Donald Trump to Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum and says he could ‘destroy’ the Republican Party Lindsey Graham compares Donald Trump to Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum and says he could ‘destroy’ the Republican Party Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:57 Rating: 5

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