Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.) is privately urging Republicans to back Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE, even while he is still publicly criticizing the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
Graham, who once described Trump as “all-over-the-board crazy” and “unfit for office,” urged GOP donors at a private fundraiser Saturday to unite behind the likely GOP nominee for president, CNN reports.
“He did say that we need to get behind him,” Teresa Dailey, a prominent Florida Republican who attended the event, told CNN.
A Graham spokesman wouldn’t confirm to CNN the content of the senator's remarks but emphasized that he doesn’t support a third-party run some Republicans are working to organize.
“There hasn’t been any change in his position,” Kevin Bishop said. He also tweeted a similar response to several reporters.
There has been no change in Senator Graham's position. He's still focused on helping GOP retain House and the Senate majorities.— Kevin Bishop (@KevinDBishop) May 22, 2016
Earlier this month, when Trump became the party's presumptive nominee, Graham said he wouldn't vote for him or Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE. Graham grudgingly endorsed Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan To counter China, the Senate must confirm US ambassadors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Texas) before he ended his campaign earlier this month.
"It's hard to believe that in a nation of more than 300 million Americans, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be our choices for president," Graham said in a statement released then by his Senate office.
"I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative nor has he displayed the judgement and temperament to serve as commander in chief," Graham said.
Graham has seemed to warm up to Trump slightly since early May, accepting a phone call from the businessman recently to discuss national security.
“I gave him my assessment about where we stand in the fight against [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and the long-term danger posed by the Iranian nuclear deal. He asked good questions," Graham said.