Despite not backing former President Donald Trump's claims of a rigged election, and being criticized this week for it, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hopes Trump runs again, saying "there's magic there."
Graham's comments came at Michigan Republican Party's leadership conference Saturday night, The Detroit News reported. Trump was holding a Save America Rally in Perry, Georgia, while Republicans were gathering on Mackinac Island.
"I don't think Trump is listening. He might be," Graham said to applause from GOP insiders and activists. "I hope President Trump runs again.
"Now I believe there's magic there – got to turn it down a notch – but there's magic there," Graham added.
Trump has teased another run for the White House as he stumps for America First Republicans leading up to midterm primaries, but he did come out and rebuke one of his key allies during his administration, Graham, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, this week.
Trump wrote in a statement Wednesday from his Save America PAC:
"I spent virtually no time with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, or Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, talking about the 2020 presidential election scam or, as it is viewed by many, the 'Crime of the Century.' Lindsey and Mike should be ashamed of themselves for not putting up the fight necessary to win. Look at the facts that are coming out in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other States.
"If this were Schumer and the Democrats, with the evidence we have of election fraud (especially newly revealed evidence), they would have never voted to approve Biden as president, and had they not, all of the mistakes that were made over the last month, which are destroying our country, would not have happened.
"Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, and all of the other Republicans who were unwilling to fight for the presidency of the United States, which would have included at least an additional four Republican senators, two in Georgia, one in Michigan, one in Arizona, are letting the Democrats get away with the greatest election hoax in history — a total con job!"
Graham was close to Trump during his administration, frequently golfing together, but he noted Trump can be "a handful," the News reported.
"People ask me, 'What happened with you and Trump?'" Graham joked with the Mackinac Island crowd. "I say we found common ground. I've come to like him and he likes him.
"That gets us through 18 holes. The first nine, I'll tell him why I like him. The back nine is why he likes him."
Graham was far less kind to President Joe Biden before the GOP conference, trashing the current administration on the lack of "order" on the southern border and clumsy messaging on the COVID-19 vaccine, which he called "the most significant medical accomplishment, maybe in the history of the country," according to the report.
"You decide if you want to take the vaccine; I took it," Graham told the crowd, the News reported. "President Trump, thank you for making it available to the world. You saved a lot of lives."
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