But as one of Trump’s staunchest supporters, he isn’t about to turn his back on the former president. Graham still regards Trump as the leader of an important movement, even though he has “lots problems facing him.”
“There’s something about Trump. There’s a dark side — and there’s some magic there,” Graham told Axios’ Jonathan Swan. “What I’m trying to do is just harness the magic.”
Graham also claimed that Trump could alter the Republican Party.
“He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it,” Graham said.
In recent weeks, Trump has vowed to battle against the 10 Republican House members who voted for his impeachment and seven GOP senators who voted to convict him of inciting the violent Capitol attack on Jan 6. Just last month Trump endorsed a Republican primary challenger to Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted for impeachment.
Trump has also ordered the Republican National Committee not to use his name or image for fundraising without his express consent.
Graham condemned Trump for his role in the riot hours after it happened. He also said Trump would “get his share of blame in history” for the Capitol insurrection, but that it was time to “move on.”
Graham told Swan that he still considers himself a friend of Trump, even after that “dark day in American history.”
That said, Graham was once a scathing critic of Trump:
Check out the video clip of the Axios interview above.