Lindsey Graham on Friday downplayed any potential campaign finance violations on the part of President Trump as not having a “damn thing to do with Russia.”
During a Friday afternoon Fox News appearance with Neil Cavuto, the South Carolina Senator also compared Trump to former President Bill Clinton when it comes to lying “to protect”one’s family.
“I know this, it ain’t got a damn thing to do with Russia,” Graham said of the allegations that Trump broke campaign finance laws regarding payments to former alleged mistresses. “I’m not excusing it, but we are talking about sex, we’re talking about Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti and a Playboy bunny as your chief witnesses. Now if you want to make that the centerpiece of 2019, be my guest.”
Cavuto asked Graham if it would be a “big deal” if Trump initiated “hush money payments.”
“Well, it would be a campaign finance violation in theory,” Graham responded. “Campaign finance violations have never been used to impeach anybody. Obama failed to report $8 million worth of contributions and he got a fine, so I’m just saying what’s the big deal to me — Did Trump collude with the Russians? And if he didn’t, I’ll put everything else in perspective. If you want to impeach the president over the Stormy Daniels thing, you can if you choose to. We tried this with Clinton. It started out with some bad business deals. Sexual harassment lawsuits are always about sex. You don’t want the most important part person in the world — the president — undermining the legal system. That’s what it was about to me. If you think this is worthy of impeachment in the House, go ahead. I think most Americans probably won’t agree with you.” (RELATED: Alan Dershowitz Thinks Mueller Report Will Turn Up ‘Political Sins,’ But No Proof Of Crimes)
Graham noted that prosecutors would have a “hard time” proving the payments were a campaign finance issue alone and not at least partially a personal matter.
Cavuto later asked Graham if he believed President Trump on the issue.
“No,” Graham responded. “He’s always under siege. He is saying this one minute and that the next. It’s what he does that matters. He is like every other person. Bill Clinton lied about having sexual relationships with that woman. I voted against that article of impeachment because I think most people, blindsided, would lie to protect their family. I’m the one Republican who voted against that article of impeachment because I think the average person in that circumstance would be compelled to lie.”
“Lying about sex wasn’t enough then for me and it’s not enough now,” he said.