South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he advised President Donald Trump not to halt special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — or the President would risk undermining the Republican Party during November’s midterm elections.
At an event on Monday hosted by the Greenville County GOP in South Carolina, Graham and fellow South Carolinian Rep. Jeff Duncan were asked by an audience member why they won’t “step up and stop the Mueller investigation.”
“Did Trump ask that question? He must have mentioned that about 20 times,” Graham said referring to his round of golf with the President in New Jersey over the weekend.
Graham then explained to the audience that if Trump were to end the Mueller probe, he believes it would lead to significant losses to the GOP during the midterm elections in November.
“I want to win in November. If we stop the Mueller probe tomorrow, you wouldn’t be able to talk about anything else,” he continued. “I told the President this. I promise you, you’ll be treated fairly. I promise you that the people who put the Clinton investigation in the tank — they’re going to have their day too.”
Last week Trump called on his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to end the Mueller investigation, tweeting, “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”
Graham added that he hasn’t seen any evidence of Trump colluding with Russians.
“I don’t think he colluded with the Russians ’cause I don’t think he colludes with his own government,” he said. “So why do we think he would’ve colluded with the Russians?”
Graham also suggested that if the GOP maintains a Senate majority and he becomes Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, he plans to hold the Justice Department accountable for several actions that have been scrutinized by Republicans.
“I’m going to let Mueller do his job and we’ll see what he finds, but Mueller’s not in charge of looking at the FISA warrant application, he’s not in charge of overseeing the FBI. What they did during the 2016 election on behalf of Clinton appalls me,” he said, later adding, “There’s a good chance I’ll be Judiciary chairman if we hold the Senate next year. If I’m Judiciary chairman? Stay tuned.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, is the current Judiciary chairman.