Graham should be more specific about what he heard

You were there, Senator. So what did the president say, and how did he say it?

You were there, Senator. So what did the president say, and how did he say it?

Since some Republicans, after a day or two of thinking about it, started claiming Trump didn’t really say “s___hole” (hilariously, one of the lines of defense has been to claim he really said “s___house“) it’s refreshing that Lindsey Graham has stuck to his original version of the story, as Andy Shain reports:

Trouble is, his original story remains vague and indirect. He seems to want to have his cake and eat it, too — to call the president out for his racist assertions without quite, you know, calling him out.

We know from colleague Tim Scott that Graham told him the media reports of what Trump said were “basically correct.”

And Graham has made sure that we know that he gave Trump a piece of his mind in response to, you know, whatever he said:

When Trump made the incendiary remark, Graham spoke up, telling the president that “America is an idea, not a race.”

“I tried to make it very clear to the president that when you say ‘I’m an American,’ what does that mean?” Graham said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re black or white, rich or poor. It means that you buy into an ideal of self-representation, compassion, tolerance, the ability to practice one’s religion without interference and the acceptance of those who are different.

“So at the end of the day, an American is a person who believes in ideals that have stood the test of time,” Graham added. “It’s not where you come from that matters, it’s what you’re willing to do once you get here.”…

Agreed, senator. But since people are standing up and saying Trump didn’t say what he said, it would be helpful if you’d be the truthteller and give us a precise account of what you heard.

As the late Howard Baker might have said, What did the president say, and how did he say it?

15 thoughts on “Graham should be more specific about what he heard

  1. Juan Caruso

    This allegation was never real news. Leaders and impoverished citizens of incompetently goverened third-world countries already know, as well as would-be travelers, where they live.

    The actual offence was created by Democratich Senator Durbin (was he wearing hearing aids?) claiming such language was inappropriate to reporters. He certainly had the right to claim a term is offensive, until he made sure that it was going to be broadcast woldwide, making certain it could offend.

    Scraping the bottom of D.C.’s political outhouse guarantees stirring up some fetid dregs.

    Sen. Graham’s reticence shows real senatorial decorum, not the backroom variety constantly preached but rarely believed by voters. Durbin, as my left-wing neighbor would say, was really showing his “a_ _”. And all but the naive know this.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I disagree with much of what you say, Juan — it IS news for the president of the United States to reveal such attitudes to a bipartisan group of members of Congress — but I think a case CAN be made that Sen. Graham is engaging in Old School “senatorial decorum.”

      I miss the days in which that sort of reticence was expected, and appropriate — the days in which a president like Trump was unthinkable. Unfortunately, we live in an unprecedented time in which the president of the United States says such things about other countries openly to members of the legislative branch. And then those members get involved in an argument about what he said.

      Now that this ugliness is on the table, and disputed, Graham has the power to clarify…

  2. Scout

    Jeff Flake says he was in a meeting with people who were in the meeting with Trump right after it happened and heard the story from them before any published news account and that the stories all matched. He did not say who he got the story from though. Perhaps it was Graham and Durbin again. If it was somebody else, they should go on the record too.


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