During Tuesday’s segment, Scarborough claimed Graham is using his support for Trump as a way to keep Republican voters behind him ahead of his run for re-election in 2020.
“Lindsey Graham has a Republican primary in 2020,” the “Morning Joe” host said. “He was having trouble in the state of South Carolina, and recent polls show that among Republican senators, he has one of the better approval ratings with the rank and file in the Republican Party in the state of South Carolina.”
He continued with his accusation that Graham “sold his soul” to Trump:
“He basically sold his soul, sold his political soul, for, you know, 20 percentage points inside his own Republican Party. I guess, unlike John McCain, Lindsey Graham didn’t have the confidence and the assurance in his voters that he could speak truth to power and still get re-elected in his state.”
Watch Scarborough’s comments below:
Scarborough: Lindsey Graham "sold his political soul" to get reelected in 2020 pic.twitter.com/QR0fehD749
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 28, 2019
“All I can say is that I want President Trump to be successful,” Graham told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on Tuesday when asked about the MSNBC host’s remark. “[…] I push back when I think he’s wrong. I like him.”
Graham noted that, as a senator, he’s working for the people of South Carolina and that they “want me to help this president.” He added that he and the president have disagreements, but “when we do, I try to work through them.”
“Cable chatter is just cable chatter,” the senator continued while pushing back, as he said his relationship with late Sen. John McCain will never change.
“He was a big influence on my life, taught me a lot about foreign policy,” Graham said. “I think President Trump is doing a very, very good job, and I’m certain he’s going to get re-elected. I really believe that.”
Kilmeade pointed out that Graham is doing “play-by-play” when it comes to working with the president and is “being totally consistent with who you are.”
In the end, Graham said he’s “not going to worry about is pleasing Joe Scarborough, that’s not on my list.”