CNN anchor Jake Tapper called out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday over the Republican senator’s “confusing” position on the Ukraine scandal as the impeachment inquiry has progressed, suggesting history won’t be kind to Graham’s “political evolution.”
Noting at the end of Sunday’s broadcast of State of the Union that Graham had been invited to talk about “his views of the mounting evidence that President Trump’s team was pushing Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens,” Tapper said that the show was told that Graham was “unavailable.” (Graham, however, did appear on Fox News for a Sunday morning interview.)
“Graham’s public statements on the matter have been confusing,” the CNN host said. “On September 25th, after the White House released that rough call transcript between President Trump and Ukrainian president Zelinsky, Graham called the call a, quote, nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.”
Tapper went on to highlight other instances of Graham moving the goalposts whenever additional evidence came forth, specifically pointing out that just last month Graham told Axios that “if you could show me that Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.”
“We now have reams of evidence,” the CNN anchor declared. “Testimony from multiple Trump administration diplomats and national security officials—current and former—suggesting that outside that phone call, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Rudy Giuliani, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney all were pushing Ukraine to investigate the Bidens if they wanted that aid and that White House meeting.”
The CNN host then turned to Graham’s most recent defense of the president, playing a clip of the Senate Judiciary Committee chair claiming that the Trump administration was “incapable of forming a quid pro quo” because Trump’s policy towards Ukraine was “incoherent.”
“Coherence is not particularly evident in Chairman Graham’s position on this impeachment inquiry,” Tapper snarked before contrasting Graham’s shifting stance on reading the transcripts of impeachment witnesses’ depositions.
Tapper went on to conclude his essay by comparing Graham with former Rep. Earl Landgrebe (R-IN), who famously said during the Watergate scandal: “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”
“Is Senator Lindsey Graham trying to follow in the footsteps of John McCain?” Tapper asked after showing Graham tearfully memorializing his longtime friend. “Or is he trying to follow in the footsteps of Earl Landgrebe?”
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