The trip comes after Graham broke with the president on Wednesday, refusing to join a Trump-backed effort to contest Electoral College counts as the vote was being certified by Congress in the hours after the MAGA riot.
‘All I can say is count me out, enough is enough,’ Graham told his Senate colleagues then. ‘When it’s over it is over.’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (left) was back at President Donald Trump’s (right) side as the president traveled to Texas for an event at his border wall
On Wednesday, Graham explained that he would not be backing an effort to challenge Electoral College votes, whch Trump was pushing as a way to prolong his election loss
Graham (third from right) said more recently that he was opposed to the effort to the get the president removed from office under the 25th Amendment or via impeachment
Graham, a South Carolina Republican, is photographed during Tuesday’s border trip with the president in McAllen, Texas
‘It’s over,’ Graham said.
The South Carolina Republican’s split from Trump came as a surprise, as Graham has been a close ally of the president once they repaired any hostilities leftover from the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Graham was also briefly a candidate for president in 2016.
In his Wednesday night floor speech, Graham said he opposed the effort to challenge certain states’ Electoral College votes – states where groups of Republican ‘alternate’ electors had gathered to cast rogue votes for Trump – because the tactic had been used after the Civil War as well.
Graham explained that his home state of South Carolina was joined by Louisiana and Florida and sent two slates of electors to Congress after the 1876 race.
They did so to hold Congress hostage and force the body to end Reconstruction after the Civil War.
‘It led to Jim Crow,’ Graham explained. ‘If you’re looking for historical guidance, this is not the one to pick.’
The South Carolina Republican also said that a forming a commission to look into voter fraud, as some GOP lawmakers suggested, wouldn’t do enough to change minds.
‘Having a commission chosen by Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Roberts is not going to get you to where you want to go, it ain’t going to work,’ Graham said. ‘It’s not going to do any good, it’s going to delay and it gives credibility to a dark chapter of our history.’
Graham did throw some compliments Trump’s way, calling him a ‘consequential president,’ just hours after the president incited the Capitol Hill riot.
He also told the chamber that he ‘prayed’ President-elect Joe Biden would ‘lose.’
But then admitted Biden won the election.
‘He’s the legitimate president of the United States,’ Graham said.
At a press conference Thursday, Graham said he was against using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power as a result of the violent mob, which killed five.
‘I do not believe that’s appropriate at this point,’ Graham said.
He added, ‘Now if something else happened all options would be on the table.’
On Monday, Graham also warned against impeaching Trump for a second time, tweeting that it ‘will do far more harm than good.’
‘It is past time for all of us to try to heal our country and move forward,’ Graham encouraged.
The House of Representatives will vote on a resolution pushing Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to pursue the 25th Amendment, which would push Trump out of office with just a week and a day left in his term.
With Pence unlikely to go through with that, the House will likely vote on impeachment Wednesday.
Currently the Senate isn’t set to return until January 19, a day before Biden’s swearing-in.
Graham didn’t speak to reporters in the press pool Tuesday, but Trump did, lashing out at the impeachment effort.
‘And on the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous,’ Trump said. ‘This impeachment is causing tremendous anger.’