Graham privately asks conservatives to back Trump: report
© Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) is privately urging Republicans to back Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE, even while he is still publicly criticizing the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

ADVERTISEMENT

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. 

 

 

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 Clinton Democrats plot new approach to win over rural voters The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Rosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts MORE. Graham grudgingly endorsed Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial 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.