MSNBC anchor speculates Trump has something 'pretty extreme' on Graham

MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle speculated without offering evidence Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE has "something pretty extreme" on Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (R-S.C.).

Ruhle made the remark on MSNBC's "Velshi & Ruhle" on Tuesday morning while interviewing former GOP congressman David Jolly (I-Fla.), who left the Republican Party in 2018. 

"Before Don got elected, Lindsey Graham called Donald Trump a racist, xenophobic bigot. Those are Lindsey Graham's words," Jolly said.

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"I doubt Lindsey Graham could tell you Donald Trump has had a change of heart in the last 24 months, I bet the change of heart has been with Lindsey Graham, not the president," he said.

"Or it could be that Donald Trump or somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham," Ruhle said, without expounding before the commercial break.

Some media members took to Twitter to blast Ruhle for being "completely irresponsible" for making such a suggestion during a nationally televised newscast.

MSNBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Tuesday.

Graham has been one of Trump's more vocal defenders since he took office, particularly during the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDemocrats Manchin, Jones signal they're undecided on Trump removal vote Collins walks impeachment tightrope Supreme Court sharply divided over state aid for religious schools MORE in the fall.

But the former 2016 presidential rival has also recently criticized the president on big issues, including over Trump's abrupt declaration last month about a U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

Graham vehemently opposed the move, calling it a "disaster" and a "stain on the honor of the United States." He maintained that despite Trump's initial declaration, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had not been defeated in Syria.

"To say they're defeated is an overstatement and is fake news," Graham said on the Senate floor Dec. 19. "It is not true. They have been severely damaged but they will come back unless we're there to stop them."

Officials have since delayed the timeline for a withdrawal amid concerns from the military and U.S. allies. Senators leaving a briefing last week said they still had questions about the administration's strategy in Syria.