Graham spoke to Fox News‘ Sean Hannity on Monday and reiterated his belief that Trump was essential for the party going forward. He had expressed the same sentiment in another interview with Hannity last week.
“The most popular Republican in America—it’s not Lindsey Graham, is not Liz Cheney, it’s Donald Trump,” said Graham on Monday.
“To try to erase Donald Trump from the Republican party is insane. And the people who try to erase him are going to wind up getting erased,” Graham added.
When Hannity outlined what he described as a conservative agenda—including freedom, market solutions to healthcare, energy independence and constitutionalists on the bench—Graham described the list as “a pretty good America First agenda” and said his previous comments about Trump were “common sense.”
“People on our side of the aisle believe that Trump policies worked. They’re disappointed that he lost.
“It’s impossible for this party to move forward without President Trump being its leader, because the people who are conservatives have chosen him as their leader. And you know why they chose him? Because he delivered,” he said.
“He was the most consequential president for national security since Ronald Reagan, he secured the border, he cut our taxes, he brought a new attitude of being an American and the people have chosen him, not the pundits,” Graham added.
Graham’s comments come as Republicans lawmakers look set to oust Representative Liz Cheney as House Republican conference chair. She is currently the third most senior GOP member of the House.
Cheney has repeatedly criticized Trump following the deadly Capitol riot on January 6. She has also offered strong criticism of false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Cheney was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on January 13.
Trump has already endorsed a potential replacement for Cheney, Representative Elise Stefanik of New York. In a statement, Trump called Cheney, who represents Wyoming’s at-large congressional district, a “warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership.”
Graham told Sean Hannity on May 6 that the Republican Party couldn’t move forward without former President Trump and he addressed Cheney’s opposition to Trump directly.
“Can I just say to my Republican colleagues—can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” he said.
“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump. I’ve determined we can’t grow without him,” Graham said.
Newsweek has asked Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Liz Cheney for comment.