July 16, 2019
In a town that has shown him very little love, President Donald Trump has found Three Stooges who will always step forward in his defense—Attorney General Bill Barr, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Alabama), and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).
This week, it was Graham who tried to hold White House critics at bay. He appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday morning to champion Trump for attacks he made on Twitter on July 14.
In those posts, the president told a group of Democratic Congresswomen of color, better known as The Squad—Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts), and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan)—to “go back” to where “they came” from.
And, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s caution to the four freshmen legislators last week not to bash moderate House members, Trump noted, “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
While many characterized those posts as “racists attacks,” Senator Graham supported the jibes—according to The Daily Beast, calling The Squad a “bunch of communists” who are “anti-Semitic” and hate the United States.
Graham—who played golf with the president on Sunday after the president sent those tweets said, “We all know that [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country, they’re calling the guards along our border—the Border Patrol agents—concentration camp guards,” Graham was quoted by the Beast. “They accuse people who support Israel as doing it for the benjamins, they are anti-Semitic, they are anti-America. Don’t get them—aim higher.”
He further called on the president to take aim at their policies rather than personally attacking them.“They’re socialists. They’re anti-Semitic,” Graham declared. “They stand for all the things that most Americans disagree with. Make them the face of the future of the Democratic Party. You will destroy the Democratic Party.”
Co-host Steve Doocy, meanwhile, wondered if Graham was saying the president went “too far” with his attacks. Graham, however, wasn’t about to go down that road.
“I don’t think—aim higher,” he stated. “They are American citizens. They won an election. Take on their policies.”
Trump was obviously extremely pleased with Graham’s on-air performance. A short time after the senator’s interview aired, the president fired off a series of tweets quoting Graham calling the Squad anti-America, finishing it off by asking: “Need I say more?”
While Republicans other than Graham in Washington have remained largely silent on Trump urging women of color to leave the country, the president’s tweets Sunday provided Democrats with an opportunity to show a united front, however temporary.
Democrats across the spectrum, from Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow progressives to close Pelosi allies such as Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York), denounced the tweets, with Jeffries calling Trump a “racial arsonist.”
Research contact: @thedailybeast