President Donald Trump slammed Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during an interview on Newsmax after Graham suggested it would be inappropriate for Trump to pardon those involved in the Jan. 6 riots.
Responding to a question regarding Trump’s announcement that he would potentially pardon the Jan. 6 prisoners, Graham told CBS on Sunday, “I think it’s inappropriate. … I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future,” he explained.
Trump responded to Graham’s comments by boldly stating, “Lindsey Graham’s wrong.” The 45th president added, “Lindsey’s a nice guy but he’s a RINO.”
The disagreement between Trump and Graham has come as a surprise for many Republicans, as the senator is perceived as one of Trump’s closest allies in the U.S. Senate. The disagreement presents a reminder to Republicans that Trump’s MAGA movement is often at odds with the Republican establishment that Trump often refers to as “RINOs.”
Trump was also able to clarify his comments regarding those involved in Jan. 6 during his interview on Newsmax. “I would absolutely give them a pardon if things don’t work out fairly,” the 45th president stated. Trump said the punishments for Jan. 6 rioters are “like 20 times out of proportion” to their actions. “Some of these people are not guilty. Many of these people are not guilty,” he added.
Trump compared the riots by Black Lives Matter and Antifa and how Democrats want to “give them the minimum sentence.” He added, “It’s a very unfair situation.” After describing the differences between how Democrats treat leftist rioters and how they treat conservative protestors who went inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, he reminded Americans, “You have to have equal justice, and this isn’t equal.”
Although Graham was a key ally for Trump in the Senate, following the aftermath of the 2020 election, Trump and Graham have often sparred on the issue of Jan. 6. The question remains whether the 45th president and the senator will continue to remain at odds or push for unity in the Republican Party.