South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of former President Donald Trump’s top allies in Congress, will reportedly head to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home over the weekend to begin talks with the former president on the best ways to move forward with a somewhat-divided Republican party.
According to CNN, people familiar with Graham’s intended schedule reported that the senator will play a few rounds of golf with Trump and will talk to the 45th president about the importance of coming together before the 2022 midterms so that, by election campaign season, all the major Republican players are on the same page.
It’s undeniable at this point that anyone in the Republican party with half a brain realizes that Trump still wields incredible, unprecedented power among Republican voters. Graham knows that and so do many others, which is why he’ll attempt to fix the bridge destroyed between the more establishment GOP types and the Trump-brand Republicans.
At the crux of Graham’s “peace mission” to Mar-a-Lago is the recent explosive feud between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the former president. As you’ll likely remember, McConnell voted in favor of acquitting Trump and just a few minutes later, on the Senate floor, delivered a blistering speech about Trump being “practically and morally responsible” for the events that transpired at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Not only that, but McConnell doubled down shortly after by publishing an op-ed in which he echoed those claims, saying he only voted to acquit the former president based on guidance from the Constitution and not at all because he was defending Mr. Trump.
“They’re now at each other’s throat,” Graham said on Fox News earlier this week. “I’m more worried about 2022 than I’ve ever been. I don’t want to eat our own.”
McConnell’s attack was akin to a tourist poking a grizzly bear at the park, with Trump’s advisers coming out this week saying that McConnell could expect to be “hit back,” presumably in the sense that Trump would pool his impressive political street credit and leftover campaign war chest to go against Republicans who broke ranks with him over the Capitol riot situation.
“President Trump is the most consequential Republican in the party,” Graham said on Fox News. “If Mitch McConnell doesn’t understand that, he’s missing a lot.”
Graham’s visit will come on the heels of another top Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, visiting Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Scalise met in private with the former president on Tuesday and details of their conversation haven’t yet been made public, but was presumably an effort by the No. 2 Republican in the House to get Trump on board for 2022.
Only time will tell if Graham’s trip to the Sunshine State will yield results, but we know from the past that Trump and Graham are strong allies and the senator is probably one of very few members of Congress who has the former president’s attention at any given time.