Graham Told Trump That Trumpism ‘Will Die’ If GOP Loses in 2022: Book


  • Graham told Trump that he could be a key figure in a 2022 GOP resurgence, a new book says.
  • During a call, Graham said that the former president’s legacy will be tied to GOP fortunes in Congress.
  • “If we don’t win in 2022, we’re screwed,” the senator emphasized, before lacing into Biden.

When Republicans lost control of the Senate after the dual Georgia runoff elections earlier this year, they faced unified Democratic control of government — with President Joe Biden pushing an ambitious agenda that was diametrically different than the conservative policies pursued by former President Donald Trump.

In late June, with Democrats having already passed a gargantuan $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that was staunchly opposed by conservatives, Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke with Trump over the phone about the significance of Republican victories in 2022, according to a new book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, an early copy of which was obtained by Insider.

While Trump has not yet formally announced whether he will enter the 2024 presidential race, Graham said that the former president’s legacy is tied to the party recapturing control of Congress, according to an exchange Woodward and Costa detailed in “Peril.”

“You can prosecute the case against Biden better than anybody,” the South Carolina Republican said, according to the book. “But you can’t do that and complain about losing at the same time. The media is not your friend. They’re going to take the throwaway line you give in a speech about 2020, and that just wipes out all the other things you say about how Biden is driving the country in the wrong direction.”

Graham told Trump that if he can help Republicans win the handful of seats needed to take back control of the House and pick up the one seat needed put the party back in control of the Senate, then it would help his legacy and give him renewed political capital.

“If we come back in 2022 and recapture the House and take back the Senate, you’ll get your fair share of credit,” the senator said, according to the book. “If we fail to take back the House and the Senate in 2022, Trumpism, I think, will die. January 6 will be your obituary.”

He emphasized: “If we don’t win in 2022, we’re screwed.”

Graham went on to criticize what he felt were Biden-led policy failures — from migration at the US-Mexico border to inflation — while also cajoling Trump by telling him that he could be a driver of the party’s potential 2022 victories in advance of a 2024 bid.

“Mr. President, the greatest comeback in American history is possible,” Graham said, according to the book. “You’ve been written off as dead because of January the 6th. The conventional wisdom is that the Republican Party, under your leadership, has collapsed. If you, as the party leader, could lead us to a 2022 victory and you came back to take the White House, it would be the biggest comeback in American history.”

Trump possesses a deep reservoir of support among social conservatives and has continued to throw his support behind GOP candidates across the country. However, with a Congressional committee currently investigating the deadly January 6 Capitol riot, his actions on that day and those of allies like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California — who hopes to become speaker after the midterms — will continue to be scrutinized in the lead-up to the election.



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