Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday said that if his emotional defense of Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the day’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing serves to eventually help the judge get confirmed, it will be “one of the highlights” of his career.
The South Carolina senator appeared with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night to discuss his vigorous defense of Kavanaugh and why he believes his on-the-fence colleagues — of either party — should support the Trump SCOTUS pick.
“I don’t think you ever had a more powerful moment in your career, and I’ve known you a long time,” Fox News host Sean Hannity told Graham as he began the interview. (RELATED: Protesters Scream At Lindsey Graham As He Talks To Reporter After Hearing)
“Well, I just told the truth,” responded Graham. “This is not about finding the truth between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. It’s about delaying the hearing to get past the midterms, hope they pick up the Senate and denying the seat to be filled by Donald Trump. It’s not about the FBI, and if you really wanted to know what the FBI thought about this, you would have come forward when he first knew about it. It’s certainly not about protecting Dr. Ford. The one thing I learned beyond any doubt today, any doubt, is they never intended to protect Dr. Ford. And everything I believed I knew about Brett Kavanaugh, I am more convinced than ever that he didn’t do it, that he’s the right guy to be on the court. That Ms. Ford has a problem and destroying Judge Kavanaugh’s life won’t fix her problem.”
“So I’m honored to help him,” Graham added. “If I helped him today, it’s one of the highlights of my career.”
Graham later told his “Republican colleagues” that if Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed, his party doesn’t “deserve to stay in power.”
The South Carolina Senator then had specific messages to his on-the-fence friends on both sides of the aisle.
“To my Democratic friends,” Graham said. “Joe Manchin, I like him a lot. Joe, you can’t figure this out? Trump won by 40 points. Do you really believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a serial rapist? Do you believe any of this garbage? I’m sorry that Dr. Ford went through this. She shouldn’t have had to go through it but I’m convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that Brett Kavanaugh is not the man that they are trying to make him and this is all political. So, Joe, I hope you step up.”
“Heidi, I like you a lot,” Graham said, referring to North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “Joe Donnelly, great guy. Why can’t you talk about whether or not we met the burden here? If he had to prove he was innocent, he did it for me, but he didn’t have to.”
As Graham described the “upbeat” GOP meeting after the hearings, he added that he would be “brokenhearted if the Senate rejects this good man.”
“I would say, ‘Jeff, it is tough,'” Graham said when asked about Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. “I don’t know what happened to Dr. Ford but I’ve been a lawyer all my life, I use to do this stuff for a living. You couldn’t get a warrant. She can’t tell you where it happened or what happened …”
“What I would tell Susan [Collins] is, if you are the way they say Brett is, you wouldn’t have the life Brett has lived. You wouldn’t have 65 women coming forward. You wouldn’t have six FBI investigations that found nothing, you wouldn’t be in this profile of a job. He’s been in the highest levels of government, a target for 26 years. He found out about it after the hearing was over, they knew about it and they sat on it, there is no corroboration. And the Michael Avenatti thing tells you where they are headed with him.”
“If we go to the floor of the Senate, we’re going to pick up some Democrats,” said Graham. “Let me tell you this, if you live in these Trump states and you can’t figure this out, good luck to you.”