Lindsey Graham’s Fox interviews are 'not for you and me, they’re for Donald Trump': author

Lindsey Graham’s Fox interviews are 'not for you and me, they’re for Donald Trump': author

"What's the deal with Lindsey Graham?" MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked his guest, The Bulwark writer William Saletan during Friday night's episode of All in with Chris Hayes.

United States Senator Lindsey Graham's (R-South Carolina) name was on a list of 21 people — released Friday, September 8 — that Fulton County "District Attorney Fani Willis chose to not indict," although he was "recommended for indictment by the Fulton County, Georgia special grand jury in their investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election."

Graham has consistently shown loyalty to Trump despite the former president's criticism of the GOP senator.

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In 2021, The New York Timessaid of the senator:

He alone can fix the former president, he believes, and make him a unifying figure for Republicans to take back both houses of Congress next year and beyond. To that end, he says, he is determined to steer Mr. Trump away from a dangerous obsession with 2020.

Hayes asked Saletan, who is the author of The Corruption Of Lindsey Graham: A case study in the rise of authoritarianism, about his thoughts on Graham's commitment to backing the former president.

"Was he pretending then?" Hayes asked the author. "Is he pretending now? What's your theory, having basically written a book about this, of the answer to that question?"

Saletan replied, "Right. The simple answer is, there isn't a moment..a lot of people you've heard say 'Oh, Trump blackmailed him, there was some golf outing where Trump told Graham he was gonna spill some dark secret about Graham...that's not what happened. There's no evidence of that. What happened is a long, slow process. Remember, in the clips you played in 2015, Graham was trying to stop Trump from becoming the Republican nominee and from gaining power. Once Trump got the Republican nomination, Graham started to coach him on how to win the election, and then once Trump won the election and was gonna be president, Graham wanted to influence policy."

READ MORE: 'Huge': Legal expert explains inclusion of Lindsey Graham on list Georgia grand jury recommended to be charged

He continued, "And Graham does believe in an internationalist, interventionist foreign policy. So he wanted to have influence in Trump's White House. And he gradually just began to rationalize everything Trump did. You know, Chris, it was Trump's initiative, not Graham's — Trump did things like firing Jim Comey, right. Those are the things that Graham increasingly rationalized, one after another after another, so that Graham could have access to Trump's ear. Even today, you can see, when Graham is on TV, those interviews he's doing on Fox? They're not for you and me. Those are for Donald Trump. They're for the guy that he wants — he wants Trump to believe that if Trump gets back in power, Trump should call Lindsey Graham, bring him back into the White House, and for him to be the voice, the counselor on foreign policy."

Watch the video below or at this link.

"What's the deal with Lindsey Graham?" - All in with Chris Hayes

The New York Times' full report is available at this link (subscription required).

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